Facebook Is Taking Snapchat Head-On with Disappearing Messages & Pictures
Facebook Messenger is getting ready to roll out a Snapchat-esque feature that will let users send messages that self-destruct after a certain amount of time, so you'll have an extra level of security when you need to send sensitive financial information or, more likely, risqué texts or images.
Screenshots showing off the feature were posted to Twitter by iOSAppChanges. There are a few options for how long a message will remain visible before disappearing. You'll be able to have them self-destruct after one minute, 15 minutes, one hour, four hours, or after one day.
While all of these options keep the message alive longer than Snapchat's 10 seconds, it's still pretty clear that Facebook is rolling this feature out to try and pry some users away from Snapchat, or keep existing users from switching over. Snapchat recently expanded its service, and it seems like the online messaging arms race is heating up.
Messenger is also adding an option that will let you have "secret" chats. These conversations will be encrypted end-to-end, and each participant will be limited to using one device to send and read messages. So, if someone hacks your account, they won't be able to see any of the secret conversations.
iOSAppChanges also linked to a Pastebin page that shows secret chats are already a hidden feature in Messenger version 67.0 for iOS. It's a good bet that Facebook will be rolling out these features server-side in the near future. Now it's just a matter of when.