Facebook’s ephemeral group messaging should give Snapchat the spooks

facebook security accounts search
Remember when Facebook reportedly tried to purchase a then-buzzing app called Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013? The deal fell through, and Snapchat went on to become insanely popular in its own right.

The failed acquisition attempt did little to phase Facebook’s unrelenting ambition. The social network even indulged in a bit of retail therapy later that same year by nabbing messaging giant WhatsApp. After all, who needs Snapchat when not one but two of your chat platforms boast a billion users each?

Like a scorned lover, Facebook has not managed to put the past behind it, as evidenced by its latest experiment. According to a number of users, Facebook is testing a new disappearing messages feature within its main app.

Tiffany Zhong, an analyst at venture capital firm Binary Capital, first tweeted about the feature on Thursday. Called “quick updates,” it can be activated by tapping a smiling face icon within Facebook’s main app. This allows you to add friends to groups so you can see each other’s updates — including text, image, and video posts — during a 24-hour window, after which they disappear.

In the past, Facebook has repeatedly flirted with Snapchat-style functions, both in the form of test features on Messenger, and via its unsuccessful standalone apps, particularly Slingshot.

Facebook may also envision the experiment as a method through which users could be encouraged to share more personal information, something that has increasingly eluded the platform since the rise of Snapchat.

Facebook itself has played down the importance of the test, claiming in a statement that it is an “old feature” that was only shown to “some people.” The company added that it has no plans to “launch it more broadly.” Like the aforementioned examples, however, it still divulges the company’s interest in tapping into Snapchat’s frequent sharing formula.

Product Review

What do you do with 187 megapixels? The Lumix S1R is glorious overkill

The Lumix S1R is one of the most capable cameras ever made, from its robust build to extensive feature set. But its key feature, a 187MP high resolution mode, is something few customers will have use for.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.2 brings support for Apple News Plus and new AirPlay 2 features

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Wearables

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Social Media

Facebook axes alleged discriminatory targeting of ads after civil settlements

Facebook advertisers can no longer use targeting for age, gender or zip code when advertising in the housing, jobs, and credit categories. The changes come as part of a civil settlement, following earlier changes to remove racial targeting.