Confide wants to be your private channel for discussing secretive information.
Unlike other ephemeral messaging apps out there like Snapchat, Confide is text-only, and for a reason.
“We’re really targeting professionals,” said Confide co-founder and chairman Howard Lerman. “That’s why we’re text-based vs. photo based.”
So rather than encouraging people to switch over from iMessage or change their habits, Confide is designed to function as a back channel of sorts, a secure link for those looking to keep their conversations under the radar.
Because of the app’s workplace focus, Confide only requires an email address to sign up, there’s no need to connect on Facebook or input a phone number.
“We think that people should be in control of their own stuff, so we built confide in many ways for the post-cloud era,” said Jon Brod, co-founder and president. “When I send you a message, I encrypt it with a key that only you can decrypt; only you know your decoding scheme.”
Here’s how the app works.
Confide features a nifty screenshot prevention feature that covers up the words of a message. In order to read a message, you need to drag your finger along the screen, which only reveals a few words at a time, preventing screenshots.
Confide has been around for a while, but its newest update processes messages 12 times faster and overhauls the layout of the app, introducing a design that makes messages feel like messages rather than email.
So what happens if someone tries to get creative and take a screenshot?
If you do manage to take a screenshot, which will only reveal at most a few words of the message, the app kicks you out, deletes the message from your phone and Confide’s servers, and alerts the senders.
Since confidentiality is key, Confide also deletes messages after you’re finished reading them. As soon as exit a message, the app deletes the message with a cool block-breaking animation and returns you to your messages.
The new update also introduces a new “nudge” feature, which lets users send a virtual reminder to someone if they haven’t gotten around to opening up an important message.
While Confide may be simple in its design and function, it’s one of the best examples of an app that takes a popular concept like ephemeral messaging and solves a fundamental problem in that space: screenshots.