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Viber launches disappearing ‘secret messages’

Popular messaging app Viber has taken a page out of Snapchat’s book and launched ‘secret messages’, where photo and video messages disappear after they’re viewed.

Top-secret

Viber is one of a few messaging apps that pride themselves on the security of your personal conversations.

In April of 2016, for example, both Viber and WhatsApp announced that their services had switched on end-to-end encryption (a fancy way of saying that the messages are encoded in such a way that they can only be read by the sender and the recipient).

Although some experts aren’t entirely convinced that the methods used are totally spy-proof, the move shows that messaging service providers are beginning to take privacy concerns seriously.

Viber’s latest feature, dubbed ‘secret messages’, aims to make your conversations that little bit more private.

This message will self-destruct in 5…4…3…

Viber’s secret messages allow users to set a timer for photo messages. When the recipient opens your message, the timer starts. Once the clock ticks down, poof! The message is gone forever.

In the case of videos with the ‘secret message’ option enabled, they’ll disappear as soon as the video has been viewed.

Nothing new under the sun

Yes, ‘secret messages’ sounds an awful lot like Snapchat for Viber. The security angle is certainly interesting—it seems that more and more users are concerned about protecting their conversations from prying eyes.

However, it’s tempting to wonder whether the addition has more to do with keeping Viber users in-app, rather than switching over to Snapchat or similar competitor when they want to use ephemeral messaging. 

After all, Viber has a reported base of 800 million users. Including a feature with proven popularity, and one that adds a new dimension to its service, is only likely to enhance its appeal.

Copy Transmission is a Melbourne-based agency :: Better Brands. Loud & Clear.

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