There are messages that you cherish and screenshot for posterity, then there are those that you just send “in the moment” and want to be able to forget or delete immediately. While a lot of messaging apps already have ephemeral messaging options, Facebook thinks we need something quicker. They are bringing something called Vanish Mode in the Messenger app and soon on Instagram. Simply put the message will disappear once it has been seen so all your silly, embarrassing, and maybe even something slightly secret.
Vanish Mode is pretty easy to enable. You just have to swipe up on an existing chat thread and you’re already in vanish mode and to go back to the regular mode, you just have to swipe up again. When you’re in Vanish Mode, you will be able to send memes, GIFs, stickers, or reactions and it will not show up in your chat history. When you first swipe up, you’ll see an explanation about how the feature works.
There are of course some privacy and security concerns with a feature like this but Facebook says they’ve made sure that you’re the one that controls this. Only those that you’re connected with on Messenger will be able to use the vanish mode on your chats. It’s an opt-in feature so you can choose whether or not to enter this mode when someone initiates it. And if someone takes a screenshot of your conversation, you’ll get a notification. In case a conversation starts to make you feel unsafe, you can easily block someone or report a conversation.
There are a lot of legit (and also not so legit) reasons to have Vanish Mode. You can send embarrassing pictures of yourself that you don’t anyone keeping a record of to use on you later on. You can also use it to send secret messages that you don’t want to show up in your chat history for one reason or another.
Vanish Mode is now available on Messenger but only in selected countries including the U.S. It will soon be available on Instagram as well soon but no date has been given just yet.