Meta’s new Vanish Mode brings Snapchat-style chats to Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger’s new Vanish Mode is now available, bringing Snapchat-style ephemeral messages with texts, GIFs and more that disappear as soon as they’re seen.

Four device screenshots showcasing Vanish Mode in Facebook Messenger for iPhone
  • Facebook Messenger now lets you send chats, images, GIFs and other media that automatically disappear after being viewed in a manner similar to Snapchat and other software that combines permanent and ephemeral messaging.
  • Available now in Messenger for iOS and Android, simply swipe up on an existing chat to enter Vanish Mode. To switch back to the regular chat, swipe down.
  • Facebook has also introduced other new features for Messenger, including split payments, the ability to record much longer voice messages than before, brand new voice message recording controls, etc.

Meta unveils Vanish Mode for Facebook Messenger

If you’ve ever sent someone an image on Snapchat that automatically disappears after being viewed, you’ll feel right at home. With Vanish Mode, Messenger automatically clears texts, GIFs, stickers or reactions as soon as they are seen.

You can cycle between regular and ephemeral messaging with a swipe. To enter Vanish Mode, open an existing chat and simply swipe up. To exit Vanish Mode and get back to normal messaging without auto-disappearing messages, swipe down.

For further details, read the official announcement on Meta Newsroom.

Split payments, longer voice messages and more

There are a few other nice-to-haves and noteworthy updates.

A new Split Payments feature, for example, was designed for situations when you might want to split a bill with friends. A request can be sent in any group chat by hitting the plus icon, the company notes. You can have Messenger split your bill evenly or set a custom amount owed for each friend. This feature has been launched in Messenger for iOS and Android in the US. Read: How to prevent people from sharing your Instagram stories

Messenger also gained some quality-of-life improvements, such as longer voice messages and new recording controls. You can now record voice messages up to thirty minutes long. Before this change, voice messages were limited to just sixty seconds. Also cool: Messenger’s new recording controls that let you easily pause, preview, delete, or continue recording a voice message before sending (the new voice recording interface appears to be lifted from WhatsApp, which is also owned and run by Meta).

Meta-owned Instagram is getting some love, too.

One new feature, due later in 2022, will let your friends confirm your identity if you get locked out of your account. This could easily become a life-saving feature for anyone who has lost access to their Instagram accounts. And for Safer Internet Day, as detailed in Meta’s blog post, Instagram is highlighting its “Security Checkup” and “Your Activity” features that give users the ability to bulk manage content, interactions, and more.