Facebook announced ‘Vanish Mode’—which lets you send messages on Messenger and Instagram that disappear automatically, similar to Snapchat. According to Facebook, the feature is for “something you want to say in the moment without worrying about it sticking around”.
To turn it on, swipe up on your mobile device in an existing chat thread. Swipe up again and you’re back to your regular chat. However, Vanish Mode only works for one-on-one chats, not group messages.
“You can send memes, GIFs, stickers or reactions to share what you really think when you can’t find the words, or just be silly with your friends without it staying in your chat history,” wrote Bridget Pujals, Messenger Product Manager and Manik Singh, Instagram Product Manager.
You can only use Vanish Mode with people who you are connected to. It is also an opt-in feature—so you can choose whether or not to enter vanish mode with someone. You’ll also be notified if someone takes a screenshot of the chat, and you’re able to block someone and report a conversation if you feel unsafe.
While it might seem like you can use the feature to have a secure conversation, it really isn’t for that. Facebook already offers a fully end-to-end encrypted feature called Secret Conversations. Vanish Mode is meant to just take away another advantage held by Snapchat.
Previously, the company already copied the Stories format first made popular by Snapchat. Now that product alone on each of its platforms is used by more people (500+ million) compared to Snapchat in its entirety (249 million).
Vanish Mode on Messenger is already available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Peru and Bangladesh. It will also first show up on Instagram for Canada, Argentina, Chile, Peru and a few other countries. It will soon show up in Malaysia and other parts of the world for both platforms.
WhatsApp has also offered Disappearing Messages—which lets users have the option to delete messages for everyone. At the moment, the feature allows you to make your messages disappear after 7 days.