Facebook Messenger now lets you send disappearing chats with Snapchat-inspired feature

Facebook is taking a page from Snapchat's book anew with a fresh update that's rolling out to Messenger and Instagram. The company announced today that you can now send disappearing chats on its messaging app with Vanish Mode.

The new capability was first unveiled in September when Facebook introduced cross-platform messaging for Messenger and Instagram. It's designed to let you send disappearing texts, images, emoji, and stickers when these are viewed by the recipient or when you close a chat window.

To turn on Vanish Mode, you can simply swipe up on your phone screen in a current conversation. You can also swipe up again in order to return to your regular chat experience.

The feature works only with people you're connected to and it gives you the choice whether you'd also like to enter Vanish Mode with someone. In addition, you will receive a notification when a contact takes a screenshot of your ephemeral chat. It also supports the option to block or report a chat.

Today's release comes more than a week after WhatsApp detailed how its own ephemeral chat feature would work when it goes live for all. For now, Vanish Mode is available only for Messenger users in the U.S. and a few other territories, with more regional expansion set in the future. It's also coming to Instagram in the U.S. soon, though you'll have to switch to Messenger's cross-platform experience in order to use it.

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