November 13, 2015
Facebook is testing a new feature that enables Messenger users to send self-deleting messages.
Users of the app who live in France can now have their messages disappear one hour after they were sent, reports BuzzFeed. It is not known when Facebook will bring ephemeral messaging to all Messenger users, as yet.
“We’re excited to announce the latest in an engaging line of optional product features geared towards making Messenger the best way to communicate with the people that matter most,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. “Starting today, we’re conducting a small test in France of a feature that allows people to send messages that disappear an hour after they’re sent. Disappearing messages gives people another fun option to choose from when they communicate on Messenger. We look forward to hearing people’s feedback as they give it a try.”
The self-destructing messages is a shot at Snapchat, a popular app that is heavily favored by young people.
Snapchat rejected a $3-billion, all-cash buyout offer from Facebook two years ago. Facebook had been courting Snapchat because so many of the social network’s users are now accessing the site via Smartphones, meaning messaging is a core function. Purchasing Snapchat was also seen as a way of attracting more teenagers to Facebook.
Now the social media firm is hoping to draw the all-important young crowd with its own self-destructing messages via Messenger. Only time will tell if it is enough to lure young users away from Snapchat.