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Send self-destructing messages from your work computer

Posting in Technology

Like the vanishing photos sent with Snapchat, a new web app lets you send self-destructing messages to your coworkers or friends from your work computer. Businessweek reports.

Last week, New York-based app maker Lamplighter Games launched OTR -- for ‘off the record’ messaging -- a browser plug-in that lets you send messages that disappear within five seconds of being read. Watch a demo video.

“We both love using Snapchat, so we thought it would be fun to put Snapchat in the browser,” according to Kris Minkstein, who cofounded 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.”

The thing with Snapchat is, if someone takes a screenshot of your picture before it disappears in 10 seconds, the app will notify you. But websites like ‘Snapchat Leaked’ are cropping up, not to mention, Utah-based Decipher Forensics will recover those vanished snaps for $300.

Kris says the company is in no way guaranteeing that 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.”

This 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 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.

[Via Bloomberg Businessweek]

Image: OTR

— By on May 28, 2013, 9:16 AM PST

Janet Fang

Contributing Editor

Janet Fang has written for Nature, Discover and the Point Reyes Light. She is currently a lab technician at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure