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Facebook Messenger to add self-destructing messages

Facebook Messenger will soon be adding a disappearing message feature, with messages self-destructing after a user-selectable period of time.

Published onMay 2, 2016


It looks like Facebook Messenger will soon add a self-destructing message feature, according to new screenshots. The information appeared on Twitter, showing details of disappearing messages in Facebook Messenger v68.0 for iOS. While this is the version currently available in the app store, it looks as though it won’t be officially released until a future update.

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A photo of a text messaging app

The feature has likely been enabled through tweaking the code a little, in the same way we got freeform windows mode working on Android N. Once enabled, messages in a chat will automatically disappear after a certain amount of time, which can be set by the user. The screenshot shows intervals of one minute, fifteen minutes, an hour, four hours and a day.

Facebook messenger disappearing messages intervals

Of course, we can’t confirm the legitimacy of the screenshots, but considering Facebook Messenger is also rumored to be adding a secret chat function, it certainly sounds like a reasonable addition. Secret chats in Messenger will likely be conversations with end-to-end encrypted messages, much like what WhatsApp has recently one by default, but only for select conversations.

Facebook Messenger disappearing messages

With the recent focus on encryption, privacy and law enforcement access to devices and user data, several apps have rolled out end-to-end encryption or otherwise beefed up their security measures. Added to this, the FBI has now lost two court cases where it attempted to compel companies to assist using the All Writs Act. While things have never been better for privacy and personal security, it is now harder than ever for law enforcement to access potentially important information.

Do you use encrypted messaging? Are you concerned about mobile privacy?

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