Snapchat has become the app for sharing silly or not-so-ready-for-public-consumption-type material among friends, family, and strange business associates. Its now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t style of photo, video, and text messaging means that the content you send to others has a lifespan of only 1 to 10 seconds, and then it disappears forever.
Or at least that’s what the idea is.
Between the company’s recent admission that, no, your snaps don’t quite “disappear,” and the emergence of a number of deviant third-party Snapchat apps that will actually save copies of all the messages you get, some people may now be looking elsewhere to share their most private thoughts (and private parts).
You might also be horrified by Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel’s recently unsurfaced emails from college, in which he disparages women and gays in notes sent to his fraternity brothers.
Whatever the case, as a service to those who are stepping away from Snapchat’s service for a while, here are seven apps with self-destructing message features that make for great alternatives:
1. Wickr lets you temporarily share not just texts, photos, and videos, but also files that you have stored in the cloud. The app also boasts “military-grade” encryption for all its messages. iOS | Android
2. With Clipchat, you can send five-second videos and photos that disappear after your friends view them. The app is nice and polished, but what you choose to share with the app doesn’t necessarily have to be. iOS | Android
3. Despite what you may think, the TigerText messaging service didn’t get its name from the very public unwinding of a certain professional golfer (involving a leaked text message conversation). It is, however, a pretty nicely put together private messaging app designed for businesses. It works across apps and desktop computers. iOS | Android
4. A part of the Silent Circle private communication suite (which runs $10 a month or $100 a year), Silent Text lets you either schedule expiration times or manually delete messages from both the sender’s and the receiver’s devices. And for some heavy duty back-and-forth, which helps you feel like you’re getting what you paid for, the app also allows for file sharing of up to 100 MB. iOS | Android
5. Confide makes ephemeral messaging kind of fun with its “swipe-to-reveal” message-reading wrapped in a pretty slick-looking package. It also claims that this function keeps the recipient’s hands busy and prevents screenshots. iOS | Android
6. For an app that spans both mobile and desktop, check out Burn Note. Similar to Confide, it features a slide-over-to-read (or mouse-over on desktop) function. And, just as you’d expect, messages disappear seconds after being read. iOS | Android
7. If Cyber Dust is good enough to pull funding from Mark Cuban, it should be good enough for you to download and try. With the app, you can send texts, photos, and stickers, and share your location — all of it disappears 30 seconds after being viewed. iOS
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