What Exactly Are Self-destructive Messages? Which Apps Are The Best For Sending One?

Feb 3, 2022
5 min read

Have you ever sent a message and then regretted it right away? Now you have no choice but to wait for the message to be read by the intended recipient. We have all been there, I am sure. Fortunately, self-destructing messaging apps can help.

Using a self-destructing message app, you can send messages that automatically destruct after a short, pre-defined duration of time, making them undetectable. These apps also have a built-in system that restricts you from taking a screenshot of the message. In other words, there will be no trace of your message and no proof that it ever existed. Self-destructing messaging applications have been around since the last decade, and they are growing in popularity all the time, with new, free apps appearing all the time. It is no wonder that in a world where most communication takes place online, people are looking for ways to protect their privacy.

And the figures back it up. With over 150 million daily users, Snapchat is one of the most popular self-destructing message apps, having been launched in 2011. The self-destructive messages became popular in 2013. While many people praise these programs for their capacity to prevent message tracking, they have also been criticized for a few quarters. Some say that the widespread availability of self-destructing messaging apps has encouraged immoral online conduct like sexting, illicit crimes, and even marital affairs.

When it comes to platforms for sending self-destructive texts, there are several options. There is a variety of self-destructing messaging applications to choose from. Know your alternatives when it comes to self-destructing messages, from email to instant messaging—you will be able to discover one that suits your requirement to be completely undetectable. As a result, I conducted some research and found a few applications that are ideal for sending such messages.


Gmail now offers a confidential mode that allows you to choose an expiration date for your emailed messages. Google stores your self-destructing messages on its servers rather than sending them to a third party. This allows the organization to keep control of the data and erase it once a certain amount of time has passed.

If both the sender and the recipient use Gmail, the process is straightforward, and messages sent in confidential mode will seem like normal emails. The body text, however, will vanish when the expiration date approaches, even if the recipient will still be able to locate the email and view the subject header in their inbox.


WhatsApp recently added disappearing messages to its Android and iOS smartphone apps. You can utilize this feature in any conversation on the platform, but only the admins will be able to toggle it on or off if it is a group chat.

To activate disappearing messages, tap the contact or group name at the top of the screen and select Disappearing messages. Anything sent while the mode is activated is immediately destroyed after seven days, however, anything sent while the mode is disabled simply remains in the chat history.


Instagram (for Android, iOS, and the web) has just begun rolling out a disappearing message feature for mobile devices, never one to skip out on something other applications did first. Vanish Mode is what it is called, and it will only be available if you agree to integrate your Instagram and Facebook Messenger chat accounts—if you have not seen this prompt inside the apps yet, it should emerge shortly.

Simply swipe up inside a discussion to activate Vanish Mode, and whatever you submit after that will vanish as soon as the chat is closed. Nothing posted in Vanish Mode will be there when you reopen it. To turn it off, swipe up once more.


Snapchat (for Android and iOS) gained its name by introducing a new level of ephemerality to social media with disappearing photographs and videos. These days, the software also allows users to send instant messages.

If you send text, photographs, or videos to contact directly, those notes will automatically self-destruct after they open them. On the other hand, one can save a line of text, an image, or a video by long pressing on it, or by taking a screenshot.

You can not stop any of this from happening, so if someone wants to save something you have stated on this platform, they may easily do so. Because of this shortcoming, Snapchat is best for self-destructing messages when all parties involved are trustworthy.

Facebook Messenger

This popular chat software (for Android and iOS) also features a self-destructing message capability, and its biggest benefit over the other platforms on this list is its widespread availability. This is your winner if you already utilize the app to keep in touch with your contacts on a regular basis.

You must first initiate a private chat, similar to Telegram, which will encrypt your messages end-to-end. This type of chat works similarly to regular conversations, with the exception that it must be a one-to-one conversation, which means you can not communicate with more than one person at a time, and you can only access these chats on the app, not the online client.


Confide (for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS) has features like end-to-end encryption and the ability to exchange various forms of media that are not found in many other chat apps (including text, photos, videos, documents, and voice messages). Unlike the others on this list, this application was created particularly for sending and receiving self-destructive messages. Confide specializes in this area, therefore you may expect more thorough protection.

Instead of allowing you to select an expiration date, the software automatically deletes messages as soon as the recipient reads them. Confide disables screenshots on mobile devices while the app is open if you are concerned about receipts. If you are really worried, you will be relieved to know that the app only shows one line of a message at a time—even if someone snapped the screen with a second camera, each picture would only display a portion of the message.

You can exchange messages to other Confide users directly, but this platform also allows you to communicate with others who do not have the app. The Recipients will then receive an email with a link to download the app, after which they will be able to view your message.

Telegram Messenger

Telegram Messenger (for Android, iOS, and the web) is a free communication app that stresses security and simplicity. Telegram allows users to send and receive messages with expiration dates.

You will need to start a new chat in Secret Mode to use this function. All conversations sent through this chat are encrypted end-to-end, and you may set messages to self-destruct, with receivers unable to transmit them to other contacts. Just keep in mind that, unlike regular Telegram messages, secret chats do not sync between devices, so if you move phones or deactivate the app, they will vanish. If you are having ongoing conversations with someone but do not want traces of those conversations to remain, this approach is ideal.

End Note

Self-destructing messaging has a lot of appeal at a time when it is easy to be worried about online privacy. Self-destructing message apps create a sense of security that normal popular chat apps just cannot deliver, whether it be internal office politics, a messy divorce, or teenage gossip. Even if you have nothing to conceal, it is good downloading a self-destructing message software to have on hand in case you get any messages or photographs that you would rather disappear. Fortunately, the technology to do so is easily available online, for free, and at your service.