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Facebook testing “self destructing” messages that disappear after an hour

Snapchat has long been known for its ‘self destructing’ messages, allowing people to feel far more confident of sending images they know won’t be around forever.

Now, Facebook has begun testing a similar service for its Messenger app.

The trial allows users in France to select messages that will only last for an hour.

‘We’re excited to announce the latest in an engaging line of optional product features geared towards making Messenger the best way to communicate with the people that matter most,’ Facebook said in a statement.

‘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.’

To turn on disappearing messages within the app, Messenger users in France tap an hourglass icon.

Another tap on the hourglass will turn the feature off.

It is the latest Snapchat-style feature to be used by the tech giant since Snapchat rejected Facebook’s $3 billion (£1.9 billion) acquisition bid in 2013.

Earlier this year the site has began rolling out filters and stickers to its photo editing tools that are uncannily similar to those available on its ephemeral app rival.

Although Facebook has been testing these features in standalone apps in recent months, they are now being built into the app’s tools.

When a user uploads a photo using the iOS Facebook app, if they have received the update they will see a magic wand icon in the bottom left-hand corner.

Clicking this opens the photo editor menu that includes filters, the options to tag a friends, crop tools, text options and stickers.

Stickers can be placed and re-positioned anywhere on the image once the sticker pack has been download.

Users can change the colour of the text and its position on the picture, while filters and cropping tools can be added in the same way they could before.

Once a photo and its edits have been saved a slider appears on top of the image that lets users see what their photo looked like before and after the filter was added.[related-posts]

Facebook’s doomed Slingshot app also has Snapchat tools and features, but unlike Snapchat there is no time limit on when a Slingshot message disappears.

It also only lets friends see an image they’ve been sent by sending one back.

Once a person looks at a message, they can flick it off to the side of their screen so that it self destructs. Slingshot also allows reaction shots.

It splits a user’s screen in half and lets them snap a photo to return to the sender.

The recipient doesn’t have to send back a message to view the response.



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