Ever since Snapchat demonstrated that people love ephemeral messaging, there’s been no shortage of apps trying to improve on the basic concept of disappearing photos.
Yovo is one of these, but the messaging app tries to differentiate itself by claiming to have finally solved the screenshot problem.
Basically, too many ephemeral messaging apps still allow users to screenshot and save images of what’s being displayed, which ruins the purpose of self-destructing posts.
It’s an issue that apps like Confide have done a good job discouraging. But at the end of the day, there still isn’t a fail-safe way to prevent screenshots.
Yovo’s solution is unique, but it’s far from perfect. Here’s how it works:
When uploading a picture to Yovo, you can choose to send it as a message to another user, or post it an Instagram-like newsfeed. You can then set a timer for how long you’d like that message or post to be visible, ranging anywhere from 1 second to 30 days.
You can then add colourful text, but the main purpose of Yovo seems to be in teasing the contents by obscuring your picture by blurring it out.
When someone wants to view your photo, they can tap to initiate the countdown, and the blurred portion is removed.
Yovo tries to prevent screenshots, however, by introducing a unique “digital fence” feature that lets you add a flickering filter to your photo.
The digital fence flickers at a fast enough rate that you can still see the entire photo underneath, but if you take a screenshot, the digital stripes are frozen in place, resulting in a screenshot overlaid with opaque bars. If a user takes a screenshot, Yovo alerts the user and documents the screenshot on the app’s newsfeed.
It’s an interesting idea, but it’s still not a true solution.
Viewing photos with the flickering digital fence in place isn’t exactly enjoyable on the eyes, and in practice, it’s still possible to get the gist of what the digital bars are covering up. If you take multiple screenshots in quick succession, you’re bound to catch the bars on a slightly different cycle, making it feasible to see most of the photo.
The Yovo team have said they’re working on an update that will increase the flickering frame rate so it’s less noticeable, and that it will debut with the iOS update and Android version in the near future.
You have to hand it to Yovo for thinking outside the box, but clever features aside, you’ll have to weigh the few extra features against downloading yet another messaging app.
If you want to give Yovo a try, you can download it for free over at the App Store, or take a look at the launch video below to see what the digital fence looks like in action.
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