Snapchat has seen huge success since it launched, it has grown among the teenager demographic in particular and brands have jumped on board the Snapchat train. So of course, Facebook wants a piece. We shouldn’t be surprised, Facebook wants a piece of everything these days and seeing as their Slingshot app failed to take off why not try build something into the Messenger app instead?
For anyone unfamiliar with Snapchat, messages are auto-deleted over a certain period of time. Facebook has started testing the feature in France where the message displays with an hourglass icon in the Facebook Messenger app. Tap on the message to open it and then it will auto delete after an hour.
Once they are gone, the messages will be represented by empty chat boxes with no content available. Of course we have to take into consideration that there is no guarantee that this feature which Facebook refers to as a “small test” will ever make it to prime time. So it could be something that you never see at all on your own profile, however following the Slingshot app and now this new feature, Facebook clearly believes that there is something in self destructing messages for them to get in on.
Facebook told Mashable the following:
“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.”
Facebook says that they are only testing in France at the moment for users on the iOS and Android platform. The feature may or may not expand to new territories over time.
Should Facebook decide to go ahead in the future and launch the feature globally it will be an interesting move into Snapchat territory. Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion but the company CEO turned the offer down.
Facebook has taken preference to regional testing over the past number of months. They are testing the reactions feature which is still only available in Ireland and Spain, the Notify app is only being tested in the United States and now self destructing messages are being tested only in France.
So I guess we can all look at each other and feel somewhat envious of what we don’t yet have.