Facebook Messenger Testing Disappearing Messages

Facebook Messenger is testing a new feature called 'secret conversations,' which will allow users to control how long their messages remain visible after they've been sent.

Facebook Messenger is testing a new feature called ‘secret conversations,’ which will allow users to control how long their messages remain visible after they’ve been sent. This limited visibility will apply to messages on both the sender’s and the recipient’s devices.

In a Facebook post, Facebook’s David Marcus said the secret conversations feature will encrypt messages end-to-end, and that it will be an optional feature for users:

To be clear, your existing ‘regular’ messages and calls on Messenger already benefit from strong security systems as Messenger uses secure communications channels—just like banking services—all around. But we’re rolling out this additional capability as an option for the most sensitive conversations you might need to have. We’re making this an optional feature because a number of popular Messenger features don’t currently work, or can’t work with end-to-end encrypted conversations, like using Messenger across multiple devices, archiving all your past conversations in case you lose your phone, and sending rich content like animated GIFs.

While the feature is currently in testing, Marcus said it will become available to more users later this year:

We’re looking forward to getting feedback before we make this feature more broadly available this summer. We’ve put a lot of thought into the design and implementation of this capability, and we are grateful to the security and privacy experts who have given us their valuable input all along this journey.

Readers: What do you think of this secret conversations feature?