Have you wanted to send “self-destructible” messages, especially when chatting with your Facebook (News - Alert) friends? Facebook thinks so and is currently testing a messaging app to allow users to send impermanent photo messages to one another. The “Snapchat-like” application is expected to be launched in a few weeks.
The new app will be standalone and separate from the main Facebook apps like Messenger, Camera and Instagram. This brings Facebook’s app count to five. The real -deal with this app will be the ability to set the amount of time a message is viewable after which it is deleted from both the sender’s phone and the receiver’s phone.
In the case of Snapchat, the message is not only deleted on both the sender’s and the recipient’s phone, but also ceases to exist on Snapchat’s servers. Snapchat has been available for iPhone (News - Alert) for some time and recently launched its Android version. According to Snapchat founder, Evan Spiegel, Snapchat users send each other 20 million “Snaps” each day.
Spiegel said that the app brings an element of realness since it allows users to take “snaps” of themselves which they already know will quickly expire, which is very different from how people present themselves on Facebook or Twitter (News - Alert).
Facebook has been making aggressive moves into the mobile communication space recently. For instance, it was recently reported that Facebook was interested in the mobile messaging app, WhatsApp, and only two weeks ago, it launched an update to its Messenger for Android (News - Alert) app which allows people without a Facebook account to send messages to each other, a direct move into a space dominated by WhatsApp. The acquisition of Instagram back in September to secure its photo messaging space goes without saying.
While Facebook has refrained from commenting on its new “Snapchat clone,” it is certainly daunting for Snapchat to watch Facebook move deeper into its territory.
Facebook is no doubt looking to protect its one billion “assets” by keeping them and ensuring that they continue using its services. Yes, if you need a way to communicate with your Facebook friends without leaving a trace, Facebook says there is an app for that coming soon.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman