Smartphone maker BlackBerry has introduced new privacy and control features for its messaging app BBM, allowing users to delete messages from chats and share pictures for short duration of time. Similar to popular photo messaging app Snapchat, BBM will now allow users to set a timer for controlling how long messages and pictures they share with contacts can be viewed within BBM. The message is hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Then, once the timer has expired (or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen), the message is no longer visible. The user also receives a notification if BBM detects that the recipient has taken a screenshot of the image or message. "At the core of the BBM experience is privacy and control.
These two notions are more important today than ever before as people are looking for simple ways to help guard against their messages getting into the wrong hands or being seen by anyone other than the intended recipient," BlackBerry said in a statement. The new features for BBM introduced today enable users to communicate with more discretion and freedom, it added. Using the message retraction feature, users can retract their message to remove it from their BBM chat before or after it has been read, so that it is no longer visible within the BBM chat. The Timed Messages and Message Retraction will, however, be are premium features. While these will be available free to BBM users for next three months, these will later be offered as part of a broader bundle of features with BBM subscription later. "These new enhancements to BBM were highly requested so we're excited to be delivering them to users today," BlackBerry President Global Enterprise Services John Sims said. These capabilities will allow users to be more creative in how they deliver their messages while also being confident that their content is kept private and seen only by its intended recipient, he added. Besides, BBM has introduced a new feature that allows users to request an HD version to enjoy picture they receive on BBM in full detail. The new features are available for download over the next couple of days for BlackBerry 10 smartphones, iPhones and Android smartphones by installing the latest BBM update in BlackBerry World, Apple App Store and Google Play. Introduced in 2005, BBM was a popular messaging app on BlackBerry handsets. It was later made available on other platforms like Android and iOS following strong compete from newer apps like WhatsApp, LINE and WeChat.