Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging feature was such a hit that it didn’t take long for other social networking services to try and copy it. Instagram is often regarded to be Snapchat’s biggest fan (in terms of copying features) but there is one feature it hasn’t copied yet. That may be changing soon as Instagram has been revealed to be finally testing its ephemeral messaging system which may or may not resemble other implementations out there.
Despite how these messages don’t last forever, these disappearing messages are actually credited for driving up user engagement. Or it is perhaps because of their ephemeral nature that people are more interested in seeing them and replying in kind. There’s also the factor that it emboldens users to send more revealing parts of themselves, something that bit Snapchat users hard in several security and privacy lapses.
Whether for added privacy or added traffic, disappearing messages have never gone out of fashion. Even Instagram has its own way of doing that to a limited degree with the recent Replay feature. This version unearthed by Jane Manchun Wong, however, is a more direct equivalent to Snapchat’s most popular feature.
Swiping up takes users to a “disappearing messages mode”, distinguished from the normal mode by a change from light to dark color schemes. Text entered in that mode will stay as long you don’t exit that mode and return to the normal messaging mode. In other words, going in and out of that mode effectively unsends any messages sent there.
As always, Instagram admits it is working on such a feature just like it’s working on every new feature leaked to the public. Only time will tell when disappearing messages will finally make their way to the app and in what form.