BlackBerry users will be able to delete messages from chats and share pictures for short time durations thanks to new privacy control features introduced by BlackBerry for its messaging app BBM, PTI reported.
On lines of the popular photo messaging app Snapchat, BBM would now allow users to set a timer for the controlling long messages and pictures shared with contacts to view within BBM.
The message remains hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Then, with the with the expiry of the timer (or if the recipients were to take their finger off the screen), the message would not be visible.
The user also receives a notification if BBM detects that the recipient has taken a screenshot of the image or message.
BlackBerry said in a statement, "At the core of the BBM experience is privacy and control. These two notions are more important today than ever before as people are looking for simple ways to help guard against their messages getting into the wrong hands or being seen by anyone other than the intended recipient."
With the new features for BBM, users would be able to communicate with more discretion and freedom, it added.
The BBM upgrade would be available for the company's smartphones as also for Android and iOS over the next couple of days. The company did not say when the Windows Phone version would be updated.
BBM users would get both features free and without restrictions over the next three months, following which they would be included in a subscription bundle, PC World reported. The company didn't disclose the cost of the bundle.
Users would be able to download the upgrade with the new features from BlackBerry World, Apple App Store and Google Play.
The concept of timed, disappearing photos and texts was popularised by Snapchat, which after its founding in 2011 quickly became one of the most used social sharing services in the world.
To turn the company's fortunes around, Blackberry would need to find revenue streams beyond smartphone sales, and the company hoped BBM users would be willing to open their wallets. If each of the 91 million active BBM users were to pay $2.50, BlackBerry would see a profit instead of loss during its second quarter, which ended 30 August.
CEO John Chen stressed the need to focus on revenue growth in the financial statement last quarter.