Facebook’s New Disappearing Ink App

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Just how popular is the concept of disappearing ink in the digital world? Apparently, Facebook believes the demand for messaging that self-destructs by design, like in a spy movie, that the Social Network is launching an app that will allow users to send messages that automatically delete themselves after a period of a few seconds…

Sounds like a hoax, right? The thing is that a very similar messaging app, Snapchat, experienced explosive growth last year, with it’s users sending 20M “snaps” (the temporary messages) per day — and that was before the Android version had even launched.

According to AllthingsD, the Facebook app will follow a very similar model to the one the sent Snapchat into the stratosphere, i.e. a friend-to-friend messaging system that allows you to determine how long a message will appear before it automatically deletes itself from the records. Here’s a brief explanation of the service via AllthingsD:

After the user views the photo message for the allotted amount of time, the photo deletes itself from the sender’s phone and the receiver’s phone, and Snapchat also deletes the message from its servers.

If you’re thinking about the incredibly vast number of ways that this type of service could open Facebook up to a world of shady business — sexting, threats, identity theft, fraud, etc. —  you’re certainly not alone.

Unlike Snapchat, I’m going to bet that Facebook will offer no such Swiss-style guarantees of anonymity should your messages be subject to a criminal investigation. We all know that Facebook stores an incredible amount of data…

If the rumor is true, Facebook will now own 5 individual apps (including Instagram). More importantly, it may mark the beginning of a new era of aggressive mobile expansion at Facebook, in which the company will target all successful social apps… either through acquisition or direct competition.

With its war chest, this has to strike fear in the hearts of all small to mid-size app companies…

What do you think is Facebook running out of fresh ideas?

About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
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