BlackBerry rolled out a new version of its messaging service BBM, adding timed messages, HD picture transfer and message retraction.
Central to those features and others introduced with the new release is the extra layer of privacy that BlackBerry said allows users to take more control over their shared messages and content.
In a slightly comedic video illustration of the new features, it seems as though BlackBerry is touting the message retraction and timed messages the most. With message retraction, users have a window of opportunity to unsend a message that was sent my mistake or to the wrong person, for example.
The timed messages feature takes a page from the ephemeral messaging service Snapchat, in which the messages, pictures or videos are only available for viewing for a pre-selected period of time. This allows "users to communicate with more discretion and freedom than ever before," BlackBerry said.
But unlike Snapchat, BlackBerry is letting users know upfront that there are limitations to the certain aspects of the features. With the timed messages, the recipient is still able to take a screenshot of message or use some other image capture device to save a copy of the message or picture before it disappears. With message retraction, the recipient may still make a copy of the message before it is unsent.
BlackBerry is offering timed messages and message retraction for free for a limited time. After three months, users will users will have to subscribe to a broader bundle of features to continue access.
The new features are set to show up in users’ app stores in the next 24 hours, depending on the mobile platform and region.