Facebook adds “vanish mode” on Messenger and Instagram

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The introduction of new “vanish mode” on Instagram and Facebook Messenger enables them get their own version of ephemeral messaging.

While versions of vanish mode have now existed across platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram, disappearing messages were once a signature feature of the Snapchat app.

Instagram has brought modifications to its homepage as well. The Reels tab, which was recently launched in India, is now being expanded globally to reach every user. A Shop button is also being added to the navigation bar and will push the notification button to the top-right corner of the homepage for likes and feedback.

Vanish Mode

Vanish Mode was announced by Facebook back in September. It’s coming to Messenger and Instagram now and will allow users to send direct messages without remaining in the chat history. The user can swipe up on the existing chat thread to turn on this feature. The user can get back to regular chat mode with a quick second swipe.

Facebook noted that only individuals you’re connected with can use disappear mode in a conversation. It doesn’t seem to apply to group chats and can only function in one-on-one private chats.

Vanish Mode
The “vanish mode” on Facebook messenger

Instagram already has a feature that allows users to send images and videos that disappear after they have been viewed, making its messaging features even more similar to Snapchat with the inclusion of Vanish mode for text.

The latest ephemeral messaging feature of Instagram and Messenger differs from the ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature of WhatsApp. Vanish Mode chats will disappear after the recipient has seen them and those messages can be taken a screenshot of and readable for seven days. Also, the sender will be informed, if anyone took a screenshot of the chat.

Vanish mode is now available on Messenger in few including the US. It will be rolled out on Instagram and other countries soon.

New features in Instagram

Instagram is also undergoing a major redesign as mentioned above and Adam Mosseri, its head, has written a blog post to describe the changes. The platform expects that the Reels tab will give individuals the chance to “share their creativity with the world and have a chance to break out and find an audience”.

On the other hand, the store tab will feature personalized reviews, the portfolio of editors curated by the @shop channel of Instagram, shoppable videos, and new product collections for closer integration with brands.

Instagram Shop Tab Image
The ‘shop tab’ in Instagram

The Social media giant has said that it will be easier for users to get influenced by designers, shop through Instagram, and help small businesses with the Shop tab.

“The biggest risk to Instagram is not that we change too fast, but that we don’t change and become irrelevant,” posted Mr. Mosseri.