A new messaging application Strings gives users the power to erase messages from recipients’ phones, even after they’ve opened them.
The iOS app, recently launched in the US, allows users to share text messages, images and videos with multiple or individual Strings users, much like Whatsapp - but with a variety of privacy ‘controls’. The sender can dictate who can save and download their images and videos from the Strings app, and even delete a sent message or entire conversation thread, "permanently" removing them from the service.
The app’s strapline, “You pull all the strings”, suggests something of the service’s intended use; having sent an ill thought or regrettably explicit message in the early hours of a Saturday morning, users will be able to hastily remove all evidence of the offending communications when reviewing them in the cold light of the morning after.
However, much like the similarly transient shared images of Snapchat, Strings users seeking ultimate control over the destination and permanence of their messages are bound to be disappointed.
According to Strings, any content that a user deletes will be removed “immediately and permanently” from the phone of the sender, recipient and the Strings servers - yet there are no guidelines on how to stop users from taking screenshots of messages, or copying the text of messages into other apps once they’ve been received. Over 200,000 Snapchat users’ images were leaked online in October 2014 after hackers accessed the servers of third-party Snap “saving” apps.
Strings is yet to receive a UK release date. Be aware that data, images and messages you share online, even through services purporting to guarantee privacy, could be readily accessed.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies