Using messaging apps, people can talk and discuss about anything imaginable. But not everything should last forever.
After a week Facebook introduced ephemeral feature in WhatsApp to make messages to disappear automatically after seven daysthe social giant is taking it a step further.
And that is by introducing a similar feature, called the 'Vanish Mode', to Messenger and Instagram.
The idea of this Vanish Mode, is to allow users to enter a mode, in which they can share anything confidential without having to worry that those messages will remain in the chat threat for long.
By activating this mode, users on Messenger and Instagram can send text chats, emoji, pictures, GIFs, voice messages and stickers, all of which will disappear after they’ve been seen and users leave the chat, Facebook explained.
In a blog post, Facebook wrote that:
The feature sounds very familiar, simply because it's yet another feature Facebook blatantly borrowed from Snapchat.
The pioneer of ephemeral messaging app has offered a similar feature for years, long before the competition started copying its features.
However, unlike on Snapchat, Vanish Mode is opt-in and is not turned on by default.
To activate this mode, users need to swipe up within a chat thread, to see a little loading circle, which then turns the interface dark to notify users that the feature has been activated. To exit this mode, users just need to swipe up again, or tap on the 'Turn Off Vanish Mode' button at the top of the screen.
To improve the privacy of the mode, Vanish Mode can also notify the sender if the recipient takes screenshot of messages while the mode is activated.
But of course, this feature is useless if someone else that is with the recipient decides to take a photo of the screen with his/her own smartphone camera.
For safety purposes, Facebook said that it supports blocking and reporting in Vanish Mode.
Here, if users in the conversation reports a chat, the disappearing messages will be included for up to 1 hour after they disappear, the company explained. This allows Facebook to review the reported conversation and take action, if necessary.
In other words, despite Facebook said that the messages would disappear after being seen or after user leave the chat, Facebook still retains messages for an hour more for safety purposes.
This feature should get along with another privacy feature Messenger has previously introduced.
Messenger has a Secret Conversation feature, which ramps up privacy a step further.
Using the feature, Messenger adds end-to-end encryption to chats, making them practically unreadable for anyone other than the sender and the recipient.