How to Send Self-Destructing iMessages in iOS 10

Want something a little more ephemeral than iMessage’s “Invisible Ink” allows for? Confide helps you send self destructing messages that are viewed once and then gone forever.


How Confide Works in iMessage

As we highlighted in our iOS 10 features overview and then dove into with our guide on iMessage apps, iMessage now has an app ecosystem that’s like a miniature version of the iOS App Store. App developers can create standalone and helper apps that inject additional functionality right into iMessage. It can be as frivolous as stickers or as useful as enhancing your messages with additional encryption.

Confide, the company behind the already popular standalone iOS private messaging app of the same name, naturally jumped on the chance to integrate their app directly into iMessage. Now, instead of using a separate app to fire back encrypted, self-destructing, and screenshot proof messages, you can do so right inside iMessage. Let’s take a look at how to enhance iMessage with Confide.

So why use Confide instead of the new Invisible Ink effect built into iMessage? As much fun as the Invisible Ink feature is, it’s not really any sort of security, it’s really more of a fun little parlor trick–if you send an Invisible Ink message to someone without iOS 10, for example, the message isn’t obfuscated. It’s just sent in plain text with the addendum “(Sent with Invisible Ink)” added on. If you send someone a Confide message and they don’t have Confide to decode it, however, they see nothing. That’s good.

There’s only one downside: Both you and your recipient have to have the Confide app installed. If they don’t, they’ll get a prompt to install it right from your message, though, so it isn’t a huge deal.


How to Install Confide

Confide is free-as-in-beer for personal use, unless you crave the “Retract” feature–a premium feature reserved for Confide Plus members (a $1.99 upgrade) that allows you to retract a message you’ve sent, destroying it before the recipient can read it.

To install Confide, simply visit the App Store in iMessage and search for it. First, tap the Apps icon.

Then select the Additional Apps  icon within the resulting menu, like so.

Within that submenu, click on the “+” Store icon to hop into the actual App Store.

Within the store, tap on the magnifying glass to search.

Search for “Confide” and then tap the “Get” button within the app to download it.

Now it’s time to start sending encrypted self-destructing messages.


Send a Message: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

To send your first Confide message, tape on the Apps icon again and swipe right until you see the Confide app, as seen below. The first time you’ll have a little splash screen, dismiss it by clicking “Get Started”

On the next screen you’ll have the meat of the app, the ability to send an self-destructing text message or photo. Select text to keep things simple for the first round.

Enter the message you wish to send and hit continue. Then click the send arrow on your message in iMessage.

It’s a bit clunky, we’ll admit, to hit send twice, but Confide is functioning as an iMessage app that attaches its payload to the message. As an aside, if you find that you and your secretive chat buddy love the features of Confide but want to streamline your Confide experience, you can always use the standalone Confide app (which is installed alongside the iMessage app).

The message appears to you as an iMessage attachment.

On the recipients end it looks identical (unless they don’t have Confide installed, in which case they’ll get the iMessage attachment plus a little link they can click on to install Confide).

In this case, my buddy replied with his own Confide message. Here’s what it looks like–just tap on it to open it.

Then you swipe your finger across it to reveal it.

Whatever the message or image is, enjoy it at this moment because once you close the message, it’ll disappear forever. The next time you try to open it, you’ll see this error:

A marker will remain in the flow of the iMessage conversation indicating that a Confide message was sent (or received), but it will be inaccessible to both parties. Confide is the perfect upgrade for folks looking to reach beyond the showmanship of the Invisible Ink feature and enjoy truly hidden messages that self destruct upon reading.

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