Viber is gaining a privacy feature to help it rival WhatsApp

(Image credit: Viber)

Beta versions of WhatsApp have revealed evidence that it will soon get a self-destructing messages feature, apparently called Delete Messages. If you're tired of waiting for this option to arrive, though, rival messaging service Viber has some good news.

The disappearing messages feature that has previously only been available in 'secret chats' in Viber, is now available in all one-on-one chats.

Just as it seems will be possible in WhatsApp, Viber's disappearing messages feature lets you send a message with a self-destruct timer ranging from a few seconds to a few days. When the timer reached zero, the message is permanently deleted.

It is not just text messages that can be configured to self-destruct – you can also configure photo, video and other files you send to disappear after a certain period of time. The countdown timer starts from the moment the recipient see the messages and is ideal for sending confidential information that you might not want hanging around online – Viber uses the example of sharing credit card details with a partner making an online purchase.

Out of sight, out of mind

To use the feature, you just need to tap the clock icon on the bottom of the chat and how much time should elapse before a message should be deleted – a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours or a few days.

In addition to messages being automatically deleted after a pre-defined period, a notification will be sent out if a recipient take a screenshot of a disappearing message. Viber says that the availability of these features to all users strengthens its position as "the world's most secure messaging app".

You can download Viber from the App Store or Google Play.

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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