BlackBerry has announced a new update is a-comin’ to BBM, with a couple of privacy- and control-focused features in tow.
The Canadian company is following in the footsteps of numerous messaging apps with an ephemeral ‘timer’ feature, a trend that was popularized in recent years by Snapchat.
With the timer, you will be able to control how long your messages and pictures can be viewed within BBM. Before you send some text or a photo, all you need to do is hit the little timer icon and select how long you wish it to be visible for. The recipient won’t be able to see the content until they touch and hold on the chat message – then they will only be able to see it for the duration of the timer. It will also vanish if they take their finger off the screen.
This feature is still currently in beta with a limited number of users on Android and BlackBerry 10, though it will be arriving with the public BBM 2.5 release for Android and iOS “very, very soon,” as well as BlackBerry 10.
A second feature that’s also currently in limited beta is message retraction which, well, does pretty much what its name suggests.
You simply press and hold the message you wish to remove, and it will be gone forever – though this will only work for written messages, not photos. And it won’t work in group chats either, only in one-to-ones.
It’s worth noting here that these new privacy and control features are far from fool-proof. Anyone can still take a screenshot or photo, or otherwise make a copy of a message before your retractions and timed deletions can take effect.
These features will be landing for all mobile users shortly, but you can view the official demo video now.