Facebook is apparently testing its own version of an app which resembles Snapchat, the messaging software which allows users to send "disposable" photographs to each other.
All Things D claims in a report, citing "sources familiar with the matter", that Facebook will launch the app in the coming weeks, sometime before the end of the year. The report further suggests that the app will be standalone, like Messenger and Camera, as opposed to being rolled into Facebook's main mobile service.
Snapchat's fame has been cemented thanks to the growing trend of sexting. The software lets users send a photo to a contact and then have it self-destruct after a defined period of time — usually a few seconds. The photo is deleted from the recipients phone, as well as Snapchat's servers, to leave no trace, screenshots aside. The software was recently updated to offer the same service for video too.
No doubt Facebook's offering would work in a similar way. In fact, the All Things D report claims to know how it will work:
Facebook's competing app will do much the same thing. After a user opens the new app, they're presented with a list of their current message threads between them and their friends. Hold your finger down on one of the threads, and a timer comes up to ask how long the message should be viewable. From there, you're able to send the message which, just like on Snapchat, will only be viewable for a fixed period of time.
The move to produce a standalone Snapchat clone would signal Facebook's determination to monopolise the photo-sharing corner of the internet following its purchase of Instagram earlier this year. It would also bring sexting even further into the mainstream. Brace yourselves. [All Things D]