With privacy becoming a serious issue these days, Facebook follows the Snapchat messaging model, by introducing a timed self-destruction option. While these two are not the first to propose this feature, it has become more and more important to be able to manage what information you want to keep and to erase.
A spokesperson from Facebook has recently announced that the new feature is supposed to automatically delete certain messages an hour after they have been sent and is currently being tested in France. This includes sent photos and videos. Let us not get our hopes too high though: there are quite a few Facebook features that have been tested in the past like profile videos and a floating video player, but they weren’t ultimately added to the online platform. Apparently the option will be activated by clicking or touching an hourglass symbol that will be found next to the other Facebook features, in the top right corner of the screen.
Some people view this change as move against Snapchat, as it is one of the media mogul’s rivals in the online media realm. However, this is not the only company to use the destructive feature: Japan and China have apps like Line and WeChat with such an option. Two years ago, Facebook attempted to buy Snapchat for about $3 billion, but Evan Spiegel, the CEO, turned them down. In spite of this, one year later Facebook managed to buy another messaging platform, WhatsApp, for $19 billion. This comes as no suprise, as IM market is flourishing. For instance, Yahoo re-entered the market by launching a messaging feature for the Tumblr website.
This is not the first quarrel between Facebook and Snapchat, as the start-up company has tried before to copy the Poke app. The copycat was removed from the store. One can only wonder whether the big and small companies are playing a big game or actually thinking about the needs of their users. In the end the goal of testing new features is to find out whether they will attract more users and consequently make more money. While Facebook follows the Snapchat messaging model, other smaller online platforms are fighting their own battles for supremacy.
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