BlackBerry is doing something with BBM that it should have done with its line of smartphones years ago: borrow ideas from the competition. The Canadian handset maker is currently testing a pair of new BBM features focused on privacy and control according to a recent post on the company’s official blog.
Borrowing heavily from Snapchat, BBM’s Timed Messages feature will allow the sender to control how long their messages and pictures can be viewed by the recipient. To add a timer to a message, users simply need to tap the timer icon next to the text bar and choose a length of time.
The message will be hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Once the timer has expired or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen, the message disappears. BlackBerry’s Jeff Gadway said he liked being able to move seamlessly between timed messages and normal messages in a single chat.
Much like Snapchat, the sender will be notified if a recipient takes a screenshot.
Message Retraction, meanwhile, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. In the event you send a message to the wrong person or regret sending something the moment you tap send, you can now retract a sent message which will remove it from the BBM chat.
To do so, simply touch and hold the message you want to get rid of then select ‘retract message’ from the menu.
It’s worth noting that retractions are only possible with messages, not pictures, and only work in one-to-one chats. Furthermore, retraction doesn’t prevent the recipient from taking a screenshot of a message.
Both features are being tested in a limited beta for Android and BlackBerry 10 users and will be part of the 2.5 release for BBM for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry 10 that’s coming “very, very soon.”