Facebook is giving users a new way to chat with disappearing messages. Messenger and Instagram will soon get a new “vanish mode” feature for ephemeral messages.
Some users may have already noticed Vanish Mode in the chat settings on Messenger, as Facebook has been rolling out it slowly to some users since the redesign was announced two months ago. And on Instagram, some elements of Vanish Mode are already part of the core direct messaging feature set, including disappearing photos and videos once a piece of media has been viewed. Vanish Mode is similar in ways to Messenger’s existing secret conversation mode that lets you enter an end-to-end encrypted chat that’s saved only on your device, although the new mode is designed to delete anything sent forever once it’s been viewed.
Vanish Mode will appear in both apps as a distinct option you can turn on and off in the settings of any particular chat message or group thread. You can also enter the mode by swiping up on a chat window. The mode will then enable disappearing messages and other chat interactions, with the option to turn it off located at the top of the chat window or by swiping down again.
Facebook says the mode will be opt-in only, meaning you have to agree to enter Vanish Mode once another user in the chat or group has enabled it. Messenger and Instagram will also notify you when a screenshot of a chat is taken while the mode is enabled. Facebook says you can report individuals over Vanish Mode chat conduct, although it’s unclear how much of the conversation Facebook will be able to review for violations.
Vanish Mode should be available for Messenger in the US as well as some other countries starting today, Facebook says. And it will go live on Instagram in the US and other countries at a later date.