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Facebook Messenger is taking a page from Snapchat and introducing self-deleting messages through an in-app “Vanish mode.”
The feature is available today for Messenger users in the US and a handful of other countries. When you enter Vanish mode, everything typed in the chat thread will disappear forever once you exit the session.
The company designed the new mode for private messages you’d prefer never see the light of day. It works as a feature you can activate individually for each existing chat you’re in. Simply swipe up in the chat thread, and you’ll see an indicator below that says “hold on to turn on Vanish mode.” To go back to the normal mode, where all the chat history is saved, swipe up again and release. Or click the “Turn Off Vanish Mode” button.
To prevent abuse, the Vanish mode can only be activated with people you’re connected to over Facebook—not random strangers. “Vanish mode is also opt-in, so you choose whether to enter vanish mode with someone,” Facebook said.
“If someone takes a screenshot of your chat while you’re using vanish mode, you’ll be notified. And as always, you can block someone and report a conversation if you feel unsafe,” it added.
The company plans on also bringing Vanish mode to Instagram. Earlier this month, WhatsApp —which Facebook also owns—launched disappearing messages as well. However, the messages self-delete seven days after they’re sent.
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