Facebook is testing a new feature that lets users send messages that disappear, much like rival Snapchat. As the saying goes, if imitation really is the most sincere form of flattery, then Snapchat must be feeling pretty great lately.
The Next Web first reported on Wednesday that a handful of Facebook users were tweeting about the new feature, which seems to only be available in limited markets.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the social media giant is “running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance.”
Ever since Snapchat spurned Facebook’s $3 billion takeover offer last year, the ephemeral messaging service has seen its one-time suitor, along with various other tech-world rivals, try to duplicate the startup’s disappearing message model.
In June, Facebook released a standalone app called Slingshot that lets users share temporary messages and photos with friends, while Yahoo paid an undisclosed amount for a similar app called Blink later in the summer.
Facebook’s tests also come a week after the company updated its Slingshot app, which so far has failed to even come close to Snapchat’s level of popularity. Facebook said last week that it was tweaking Slingshot’s lone unique aspect by no longer requiring users to send a return message in order to unlock any photo or video sent to them by a friend.