Facebook Messenger takes on Snapchat by testing disappearing messages

Facebook Messenger is taking a page out of rival Snapchat’s playbook.

The Menlo Park tech firm is testing a new feature on its messaging app that gives users the option of having a message self-destruct within an hour by tapping on an hour glass icon, BuzzFeed reports.

“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,” a Facebook spokesperson told the media outlet.

With 1.5 billion users, Facebook has far more users than Snapchat, an app that allows users to send a photo or a video called “snaps” that vanish within 1 to 10 seconds.

But Snapchat has been growing in popularity especially among teenagers who use multiple social media sites.

About 41 percent of teens who are between 13 and 17 use Snapchat, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.

Facebook though is still the most popular social network among that age group followed by Instagram.

About 700 million people use Facebook Messenger every month and the company has been rolling out new features this year to attract more users, including a tool this week that uses facial recognition to remind you to send photos to friends within the picture.

Photo Credit: John Edelson/Getty Images


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  • Gerry Segal

    My thoughts and pics may be disappearing, but I still love facebook

  • TrevorH

    So do they disappear an hour after they’re sent, or after they’re received? If they’re not seen within an hour of being sent, will they never be seen?