Viber launches self-destructing secret messages

Viber, the messaging service similar to Messenger and WhatsApp, has introduced a new 'secret messages' service that enables users to send self-destructing videos and photos. Once the message expires, it'll disappear from the conversation, having no part in the permanent chat log stored in the user's history. Those on the receiving end of a secret message can only view the content once before it disappears.

Self-destructing messages were arguably made popular by Snapchat, and have since found their way into some other services. With Viber, users get to choose which messages are a permanent part of a conversation's history and which ones will disappear once the recipient views it.

The biggest 'upside' to this feature is that the recipient can't share the content with someone else. Of course, someone could get around that limitation by taking a screenshot, if possible, or even using a camera to take a picture of the content. That's a small risk, though, as many people likely won't be ready to capture the content before it self-destructs.

The secret messaging feature is easy to use, requiring the user to snap a photo or choose one from the gallery, and to then set the time limit they want on it (five seconds, for example). Once sent, the media will chill out, only to disappear after it has been viewed for the set time limit.

Chat logs in which the secret messages were sent will remain. The recipient will see a timestamp for when the secret message was received, but won't be able to see the actual content after it expires. The feature is available in Viber now.