This post will self-destruct in 10 seconds!
Wouldn’t that be crazy if all messages blew up after a certain period of time. Like poor Chief Quimby on Inspector Gadget or Seamus Finnigan in the Harry Potter series, we’d all be covered in soot and burns!
Following my previous post on the top social media apps you should know, I’ll be unpacking Self-Destructing apps.
As soon as something becomes popular, multiple copycats start to pop up. The ability to send and receive messages that destroy themselves after a period of time has become a staple in social media app folders and desktops, whether it’s kids or adults.
1. Snapchat – As previously outlined, they are the reigning champion for the time being. This app has become popularized for the multiple filters, ability to take and send pictures as well as videos and add text and graphics to those images that disappear after a certain period of time. See Snapchat’s Support page outlining their Delete policies.
Facebook is reported to have made multiple attempts to purchase or copy Snapchat as the upstart app was eating into their user-shares (Matthew Ingram, Fortune.com). Does anyone remember Poke (2012) or Slingshot (2014)? Know who bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion…that’s right, Facebook!
The multiple filters in Snapchat allow for creativity and hilarity to ensue.
The ability to screenshot, use a mirroring app or simply take a photo with another camera creates issues with inappropriate content being preserved for all time.
2. Telegram – “In a nutshell, Telegram is WhatsApp with the ability to self-destruct messages.” (OnlineSense.org) It is an instant messaging service that allows users to send and receive text messages, attach photos, videos and documents.
The self-destructing bit comes in the form of their Secret Chat feature complete with a self-destruct timer. Not only can you self-destruct your messages; users can also self-destruct their entire account.
3. Wickr – This is a private messaging app that allows for messages that self destruct; but, not only that, they boast “perfect forward secrecy.” This concept is important to understand as it is what makes Wickr popular with political activists, human rights activists and supposedly, its use in espionage.
To achieve Perfect Forward Secrecy, Wickr uses multiple layers of encryption (five)…for…every…message…sent. This ensures that the recipient of the message is the only person getting the message and that nobody…nobody!..can hack into the message. Not even Wickr!
Watch this video on Youtube for a more visual and detailed explanation of their encryption measures.
4. Bleep – A self-destruct messaging app that is unique because it allows you the option of logging in through your cell phone number, email, or anonymously.
Not only that, but the app gives the user the ability to make calls, send messages, or “whisper”
If a user sends a whisper, the recipient can not take a screenshot of it. Screenshots can only occur in the messaging feature.
This video explains the apps features a bit more.
5. CoverMe – This one is interesting because it puts the self-destruct controls in the hands of the recipient. Most apps allow the sender to decide the timer on the message up to a certain limit.
This app allows the receiver to determine that, which can create obvious problems with Screenshots or taking photos with a second phone.
The one saving grace feature is that the sender can recall a message if it hasn’t been read.
Whisper – This app is not so much a self-destructing app as it is a platform for anonymous confessional type posts. The app creates a username for the user which they tout as securely maintaining the users anonymity. However, many users share their identity with their friends. In addition, the app has a Meet Up section which allows users to exchange information.
Burn Note – This self-destruct app self-destructed in August of 2016 as they quickly fell behind the trend with their app only allowing text messaging as opposed to including pics and videos as the others have.
Next up: Dating apps