Facebook has started trialing self-destructing messages on its Messenger app, with the feature giving users the ability to send messages that vanish after one hour. Available to a few users in France, the feature can be enabled or disabled through an hourglass icon in the app.
According to a Facebook spokeswoman in a statement to BuzzFeed:
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. 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.
This is Facebook's latest attempt to compete with Snapchat following a failed bid by the social network to acquire the messaging service for $3 billion. In 2012, Facebook launched Poke — a service that mimicked the functionality of Snapchat — but the service ultimately failed to gain mainstream attention and was shut down. The social network also came up with Slingshot, an ephemeral photo-sharing service that requires you to send an image back to the sender to view an incoming message.
Facebook did not mention when the feature will roll out to all 700 million Messenger users. Would you guys like to see ephemeral texts come to Messenger?