Facebook is not yet done borrowing features from other apps. After being ‘inspired’ to add TikTok-like Reels and Snapchat-like stories, the company is moving towards integrating yet another Snapchat feature to its apps. This time around, Facebook is adding disappearing messages to its Messenger and Instagram. It is calling the new feature ‘Vanish mode’. It comes as a major redesign to Messenger that was announced by Facebook in September.
Vanish mode allows users to send texts, photos, voice messages, emoji, and stickers that disappear automatically. These messages will disappear after they’re seen and you leave the chat, with no traces left in your chat history. The new Vanish mode is opt-in only, and you have to acknowledge the feature before using it with someone in a chat.
To turn it on, you need to swipe up on your mobile device in an existing chat thread and you’re in vanish mode. Swipe up again and you’re back to your regular chat. Further, if someone takes a screenshot of your conversation, you’ll be notified. And, if a message is reported, it will be included for up to one hour after it disappears in the report.
“Sometimes a message is just spontaneous – something you want to say in the moment without worrying about it sticking around. That’s why we’re excited to introduce vanish mode on Messenger, which lets you send messages that disappear automatically. How it works is simple—messages disappear after they’re seen and you leave the chat,” wrote Facebook.
Vanish mode is slowly rolling out on Messenger and Instagram. It is already available on Messenger in the US and a handful of other countries, and it’s coming soon to more places. Vanish mode on Instagram will be coming to the US and other countries soon, when you update to the “new Messenger experience.”