Tech

You'll Soon Be Able To Send DMs That Disappear

Prepare your inbox accordingly.

Instagram

Your Instagram DMs are about to get ~invisible~. Today, Instagram is introducing Vanish Mode, a new messaging feature that allows people to send DMs that disappear from your chat history entirely. No preview of whatever photos are sent. Nothing denoting a sneaky gap in your chat thread. Prepare your inbox accordingly.

After teasing the disappearing message feature earlier this year, both Messenger and Instagram are officially launching Vanish Mode. As its name suggests, this newest feature allows users to enter a "mode" where you can send private messages that will leave no chat history. Like its Snapchat message forefathers, you'll be able to send text, photos, or videos in Vanish Mode.

Once both parties have enabled the new feature, all you’ll need to do is swipe up on your chat to enter Vanish Mode. Your screen will go black, a la web browsers' "Incognito Mode", and you’ll see a note at the top specifying that you’ve entered Vanish Mode. All messages sent in Vanish Mode will disappear once you exit the chat or go back to normal messaging. No history of messages will appear in your thread. It'll just look like your regular messaging conversation. If you heard something, that was just everyone letting out a collective *gulp*.

Instagram

While Vanish Mode is new to Instagram, you’ve been able to send single-view photos and videos since 2018. If you need a refresher, here’s how to send a disappearing message on Instagram:

  • Open Messages on Instagram. Make sure your app is updated to the most recent version.
  • Select who you want to message. You can do this by tapping the camera icon next to the person or group you want to message, searching the username of a specific person, or composing a new message.
  • Compose that sneaky little message. You can send disappearing photos, videos, or text messages.
  • Specify how many times your message can be opened. You can select View Once, which only allows the message to be seen once, Allow Replay, which allows your recipient(s) to replay your message once more before it disappears, or Keep in Chat to keep a preview image visible in your thread.
  • Send it. Revel at the fact that you can send disappearing messages like an Instagram spy.

With disappearing messages, the sender is able to tell if you’ve taken a screenshot or replayed the message. It's not clear whether the same will be true in Vanish Mode. Regardless, please use these powers for good.

Vanish Mode and the other new messaging features like chat colors and themes are testing in select countries and will roll out globally soon. If you don't see the new features after updating your app, you'll need to be patient. (Or, you know, just keep using Snapchat.)