Send self-destructing messages from your work computer

How do you send personal or silly messages while sitting at your work computer? A new browser app offers Snapchat-like "off the record" messaging.

OTR

Much like the vanishing photos sent with Snapchat, a new Web app lets you send self-destructing messages from your work computer.

New York-based app maker Lamplighter Games last week launched OTR -- for "off the record" messaging -- a browser plug-in that lets you send messages that disappear within 5 seconds of being read.

"We both love using Snapchat, so we thought it would be fun to put Snapchat in the browser," according to Kris Minkstein, who co-founded the company with his brother Andy. "We figured since you're in front of your computer all day at work that you're going to end up sending a lot of these photos to probably the guys sitting next to you at your cubicle."

With Snapchat, if someone takes a screenshot of your picture before it disappears in 10 seconds, the app will notify you. But Web sites like "Snapchat Leaked" are cropping up, and Utah-based Decipher Forensics will recover those vanished snaps for $300.

Kris Minkstein says the company is in no way guaranteeing the messages on OTR can't be recovered if, say, the human-resources department decided to hire a digital forensics expert to retrieve them. OTR, he says, is meant for having fun: "It's not meant for ultra-secure communications or anything crazy like that."

OTR follows Wickr's self-destructing texts, pictures, and videos and Efemr's tweets with expiration dates. People are getting more and more frustrated with sharing things that live forever on the Web, Kris Minkstein says. "If anything, you're going to see more of this. It's here to stay."

An early version (then called ChapSnat) was presented at the TechCrunch Hackathon last month. OTR is available for Chrome, with other versions coming soon. Watch a demo video of OTR here.

This story originally appeared on SmartPlanet via Bloomberg Businessweek.

 

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