BlackBerry Messenger gets timer, message retraction features

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BlackBerry on Friday rolled out a revamped version of its instant messaging service BBM, adding a host of new features to the list. The latest update debuts ephemeral message timer feature as well as message retraction features.

With the introduction of the new disappearing message timer, same like Snapchat, users will now be able to control how long their messages and pictures can be viewed within BBM.

Users can now set their BBM messages to expire by tapping the timer icon next to the text bar and choose a length of time ranging from 1 to 15 seconds. The message will be hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. The messages will disappear once the timer expires or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen.

This will allow “users to communicate with more discretion and freedom than ever before,” BlackBerry said.

The second feature making it to the list is message retraction. As the name suggests the new feature will let users retract or remove a message from a BBM chat even after it has been sent. To do so, users will need to touch and hold the message they want to get rid of and select ‘retract message’ from the menu.

It is however to be noted that retractions are only possible with messages in one-on-one chats and not pictures. Furthermore, retraction doesn’t prevent the recipient from taking a screenshot of a message. BBM will notify users if in case the recipient tries to preserve the message by taking a screenshot of it.

BlackBerry confirmed that both the features will be available for free and without restrictions to BBM users for the next three months. However, after the stipulated time period, they will be included in a subscription bundle, the cost of which has not yet been specified.

The update is available for download from BlackBerry World, Apple App Store and Google Play.