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Facebook will add ‘Unsend’ feature to Messenger, but here’s who allows disappearing messages now

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Facebook has been trying really, really hard to convince its users that the social network cares about our privacy and is becoming a more (buzzword alert) “transparent” platform.
This makes the recent revelation that Facebook secretly deleted Mark Zuckerberg’s messages in Messenger without notifying the recipients uncomfortable, to say the very least.
On Friday, TechCrunch revealed that Facebook has been scrubbing private messages Zuckerberg sent before 2014 from the platform. People who’d communicated with Zuckerberg over Messenger found that their messages suddenly looked like entirely one-sided conversations — with no trace of Zuckerberg’s correspondence left in their inboxes. Facebook never notified them it was doing this.
Normally, Facebook users can delete their messages — but that only appears on one’s own side of the chat. Currently, users have no way of deleting sent messages from the recipients’ inbox. 
Not so for Zuck. Facebook told TechCrunch that it had deleted the messages as a corporate security measure after the Sony hack revealed just how damaging seemingly innocuous messages can look when revealed to the public. Of course, that’s not exactly a good explanation for why users weren’t notified of this corporate practice. And then there’s the fact that once your average, non-CEO Facebook user sends a message on Messenger, it can exist forever in another’s inbox.
In a rare move, Facebook has apologized for their stealthy deleting ways. And to bridge the discrepancy between the executives’ and users’ experiences, a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable that it will be rolling out an “unsend” feature for Messaging in the coming months. Currently, “secret mode” in messenger (which is the name for their end-to-end encryption option) lets users set a timer for messages to disappear. But the report of the executive scrubbing seems to have accelerated the roll-out of this feature to regular Messenger, too.
“We have discussed this feature several times. And people using our secret message feature in the encrypted version of Messenger have the ability to set a timer — and have their messages automatically deleted. We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner — and we’re sorry that we did not,” Facebook wrote in a statement to Mashable.
That change is coming … eventually. But if you want the same level of security as Mark Zuckeberg right now, you may have to look beyond non-secret mode Messenger. Here are some of the best services for creating self-destructing messages.
1) Snapchat
It’s only fair to give the first spot to the Ghosties themselves. Disappearing messages are Snapchat’s bread and butter. In chat, messages disappear after all parties have read them.
However, messages in Snapchat are not end-to-end encrypted, which means the platform and law enforcement may have access to your messages. And though Snapchat says it doesn’t keep users’ snaps on its servers, there is a fair amount of skepticism about that claim.
2) Signal
This is one of the preferred and highly vaunted end-to-end encrypted apps used by journalists and sources. It ensures that law enforcement and the messaging company can’t read your communications. It also has the option to enable disappearing messages. Tap the name of a contact and turn on the “Disappearing Messages” option in their info. Messages will disappear after they have been seen.
3) Telegram
This is a messaging app in which security measures like end-to-end encryption and disappearing messages are an option (though not a default). There are two ways to disappear your messages on Telegram. First, you can use the “secret chat” feature, which only hosts messages (until they automatically disappear) on the mobile devices on which they’re sent and received. And, similar to Signal, in regular chats — which sync across devices on Telegram — you have the option of turning on self-destructing messages, too.
4) Confide
Self-destruct is the default on Confide, a messaging app predicated on ephemeral messaging. It is end-to-end encrypted and messages automatically self-destruct once they’ve been read.
But what makes this app really standout is its “ScreenShield” technology: Confide prevents users from taking screenshots, an increasing source of leaks on messaging services like Slack. If you attempt to take a screenshot of messages in the seconds before they disappear on Confide, all that shows up in your photos is a blank white screen. Pretty nifty.
5) WhatsApp
Facebook does own WhatsApp, but this popular messaging service enables what Facebook Messenger doesn’t. Messages won’t automatically disappear in WhatsApp, but users have the ability to delete any text, photo, or video message after it’s been sent. All that remains is a bubble that says “this message has been deleted.” 
It’s not quite gone without a trace. But it’s still disappeared from both the sender’s and the recipient’s chat log.
UPDATE April 6, 2018 2:30 p.m. E.S.T.: This story was updated to include a statement from Facebook and information about their “secret” messaging feature.

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