It seems likely that Facebook Messenger self-destruct messages would be part of our lives sooner than we think. For those still in the dark, Messenger self-destruct messages implies that the chats we send can automatically disappear or be auto-deleted after a certain time. We can set how long we want a chat to remain seen on a friend’s device.
If it finally happens, Facebook Messenger self-destruct messages would not be a surprise though. Since the spat between FBI and Apple over the unlocking of a suspected terrorist’s phone, tech companies have started paying more attention to online security. It wasn’t too long ago that whatsapp introduced end-to-end encryption feature. Shortly after, Viber also integrated the end-to-end encryption feature into the software.
But other chat apps such as Telegram, with its over 100 million active users, already have this self-destruct feature. Snapchat, who many people consider as Facebook’s biggest rival, have since being using the feature and it’s users find it very popular and useful to safeguards sensitive information. This can be seen as another attempt by Facebook to copy what Snapchat is doing. Other chatting apps using the self-destruct feature are BBM and WeChat.
However, the excitement level for Facebook Messenger self-destruct messages should be tuned down a bit for now. It seems the feature for now can be found in only iOS devices. A screenshot posted by Twitter user iOSAppChange blew the lid on this development. According to him, the latest version of Facebook Messenger on iOS, V68.0, included the feature, and when he tapped on it, he saw this message,
“You turned on disappearing messages. New messages will disappear from this conversation 15 minutes after being sent,”
But most iOS users are not able to view the feature on Messenger which can imply two things: it is either Facebook is still testing the Messenger disappearing messages feature only a on few select devices, or there is a phase roll out of the feature. If it is the latter, the roll out is perhaps being done slowly. In which case, it might take a while for it to be generally available in all devices.
This is not the first time Facebook is attempting something like this though. The unfortunate Slingshot had a similar feature. But when Slingshot was withdrawn in December last year, the idea died with it. Facebook also did a similar thing in France last year when It tested a self-destruct feature for several users of Facebook Messenger. It is therefore very likely the appearance of the Facebook Messenger self-destruct messages feature on some iOS devices is the culmination of that test in France last year.
The Messenger app is getting a lot of attention these days as Facebook intends to make it the number app in the world. After announcing their intention to introduce bots into the app, a group calling feature was also introduced just a few weeks back. All these upgrades are in line with that vision of creating a super app in Messenger. This surely won’t be the last feature to be added to Facebook Messenger.
photo credit: bp.blogspot.com