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Undeterred by Snapchat's snafus, upstart Confide punts self-destruct selfies

Burn after reading, or get burnt when someone douses the fuse

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While the world wonders whether Snapchat is a three-billion-dollar disaster because of its recent hack, an AOL alumnus has launched a disappearing message app designed for corporate audiences.

Confide, which hit the app store on January 8 US time, pitches itself as an app that “lets you say what you want … messages disappear after they're read, ensuring all your communication remains private, confidential and always off the record”.

Co-founder Jon Brod, formerly of AOL, tells Bloomberg the app's users will have to “exercise proper caution and judgement” in using the app – sensible advice, but probably fruitless given that it seems tailor-made for insider traders.

“Words spoken during in-person chats over coffee or informal meetings disappear after they are heard. But emails or texts people send are permanent,” Brod writes in this blog post. “We set out to build a professional off-the-record messaging service we’d actually use ourselves.”

The app demands that users swipe words in messages to reveal them, and says it will notify the originator of a message if the recipient attempts a screenshot (the determined recipient could, of course, just use a separate video camera to capture messages permanently).

The app is currently only available for iOS, with Android on the drawing board. ®

Top three mobile application threats

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