Just a few days after Facebook updated its main iOS client with a long-overdue feature and better performance, here comes a report about a new Facebook app in the making. According to AllThingsD, the social networking giant is in the process of testing an app that is similar in functionality to Snapchat.

Billed as a real-time picture chatting app for iPhone and recently updated with video capability, Snapchat basically lets you share “self-destructing” photo messages with your friends.

With Snapchat, you take or load a photo, specify how long you want it to be viewed (up to 10 seconds only), and send it privately to your friends.

The recipients of your photo message can view it only within the time limit you’ve chosen. Beyond the limit, your message automatically disappears, never to be recovered or seen again. (If any of your recipients take a screenshot of what you sent, you will be duly notified.)

This is exactly the key feature of Snapchat, which has resulted in its rather unfortunate distinction as a “sexting” app.

And Facebook is looking to replicate this key feature in its forthcoming app, which is conjectured to be released by the end of the year.

AllThingsD explains:

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.

Like Facebook Messenger and Facebook Camera, the prospective Snapchat-like app is going to be a standalone app independent of the main Facebook client. Which is just as well, lest you make a silly mistake and end up posting your “self-destructing-for-a-reason” photo messages on your public Facebook timeline.

Source: AllThingsD