BBM’s New Snapchat-style Ephemeral ‘Timer’ Feature

BBM’s New Snapchat-style Ephemeral ‘Timer’ Feature

BlackBerry has announced a new update to BBM, adding few privacy- and control-focused features in tow. It is following in the path of several messaging apps with an ephemeral ‘timer’ feature, a style that was popularized in recent years by Snapchat.

The new features come in the form of a Snapchat-style timer that can set your messages to expire after a certain number of seconds, and the ability to retract messages.

BlackBerry explains: “Setting the timer is super easy: Before you send your message or picture, you just tap on the timer icon next to the text bar and choose a length of time you want the recipient to be able to view that message. The message is hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Then, once the timer has expired (or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen), the message is no longer visible.”

The ephemeral messaging feature in BBM looks alike to feature already present in apps like Snapchat. Users can set a timer to the pictures and messages they share and the receiver will no longer be able to view those messages and pictures after the timer runs out.

The trouble with this though is that if they take a screenshot when they first view the message, the complete application of setting a timer proves to be pointless.  So just like Snapchat and all the others, if you by mistake send something you didn’t mean to, then you can only hope they don’t know how to take screen shots.

It will allow users to retract and get rid of messages not yet seen by recipients in the BBM chat. In order to use this feature just tap and hold on the message and when the menu pops up tap on “retract message.” This feature only works with messages and not with pictures, and does not work in group chats.

According to BlackBerry, timed messages and message retraction are coming to BBM through the app’s forthcoming 2.5 update “very, very soon” and will be coming to Android, iOS, and Blackberry 10.