Self Destruct Emails

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Snapchat-like app allows people to send fleeting messages that disappear upon viewing.

The problem with sharing everything on the internet, is that it can feel so darn permanent. What started with Snapchat, the app that made sending naughty and silly photos seemingly safe, has branched out into a slew of applications that make our internet presence more ephemeral. Enter the latest iteration of erasable online media, OTR (which stands for off the record), a new in-browser application that let users send messages to other computers with a 5 second time limit before they vanish into the cyber atmosphere.

Created by app company Lamplighter Games, OTR was directly inspired by SnapChat (it was originally called ChapSnat when it was presented at a TechCrunch

The app is very much in-line with the trend of temporary online media, from self-destructing tweets to disappearing photos, more and more people are searching for semi-privacy online while still sharing parts of themselves. But it is unclear whether any of the media truly vanishes; in recent news a company announced it can retrieve all the SnapChat photos on your phone for $300, while another site SnapChat Leaked has begun posting pictures of those naughty bits you thought were lost in cyberspace. Nevertheless, Minkstein says OTR is not about hiding NSFW from the guys in human resources, ‘It’s not meant for ultra-secure communications or anything crazy like that.’ Rather OTR is just a bit of fun to break up another dreary day at the office and provides people with a way of controlling what they put out on the web.

Why I’m Curious:  Wondering if this adds any efficiency to people at work when they rely so heavily on emails to document important information. I do think it’s helpful to be able to vent or add humor to the day without worrying that anything written would be published forever.

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