Viber is adding a new feature to its platform: “secret chats.”
The messaging app, which has 800 million users worldwide, will allow people to start individual or group conversations that self-destruct after a pre-set time limit. In other words, it will erase all traces of users’ conversations. The secret chat function is meant to protect messages from getting forwarded to other users. It will also block users from taking screenshots on Android, while iOS users will simply get alerts when a screenshot has been taken.
Earlier this year, Viber rolled out “secret messages,” which allow users to set a time limit on individual messages and control how long they are visible to the recipient before they disappear. In 2016, the messaging company also debuted a hidden chat feature allowing users to access their messages through a PIN.
The concept of self-destructing messages has been gaining popularity in recent days after it was revealed that White House staffers were using encrypted app Confide to communicate. In February, Confide saw a boost in user sign-ups after Trump ordered an internal investigation to identify how sensitive information from his administration was getting leaked.
Like Confide, Viber’s secret message features are encrypted end-to-end and self-destruct for maximum privacy.