“This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” Mission Impossible made vanishing messages famous in the late ‘60s, but this technology is no longer just for secret agents.
On a consumer level, more and more apps give individuals the choice to have the messages they send be automatically deleted after a set period of time. Snap was one of the earliest social media companies to capitalize on this, with ephemeral photos and video messages that only last 24 hours. Now WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Slack are implementing “vanishing” messaging options to improve user privacy.
In the U.K., the conservative Tory party recently switched to using Signal, a privacy-focused open-source alternative to WhatsApp. With regulations like GDPR and California’s newest privacy law, vanishing messages may become the norm.
This trend is part of our section on Privacy. Other trends in this section include:
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