This [Corporate] Message Will Self-Destruct

Confide app enters Snapchat territory with sly sharing app

Hot tips, insider info, top secrets and off-the-record comments have a new app for secure digital transmission: Confide.

The New York City-based startup launched today and is positioning itself as a Snapchat for the corporate world. Confide is an app for users to send mobile messages that are encrypted, hidden and automatically destruct after they are viewed.

Jon Brod, a former AOL exec, co-founded Confide looking to capitalize on the growing trend in messaging apps and increased concerns over Internet privacy.

Confide messages appear like mobile emails with the text hidden behind a digital screen; the words appear as a user trails a finger over them and then they hide again. Then the message erases after it's read.

Snapchat pioneered disappearing messaging with photos that delete after being shared. While the service has been popular with teens and for sexting, there have been signs that corporate sectors like Wall Street embraced the technology for sharing secretive notes. Even U.S. regulators have been concerned that Snapchat could be used for sharing illegal information.

Still, Snapchat has some limits on security, and there have been ways for recipients to take screen shots of photos that were meant to erase. Also, photos sometimes still reside on devices or Snapchat servers even after they disappear.

Confide says its messages are encrypted, and it doesn’t have a way to access them. Also, screen grabs are made more difficult by the fact that users need to use one hand to reveal the words of the texts.