Most people are aware of the popular app Snapchat, which revolutionized the idea of confidential picture messaging and contributed to the rising rates of “sexting”. However, now an app that has been dubbed “Snapchat for Businesses” called Confide is revolutionizing the business sphere with confidential messaging using technology similar to Snapchat.
Confide is considered an “off-the-record” messaging app in which businesspeople can keep their information safe by messaging it to others and having it disappear in a timely manner. The purpose of this feature is so that sensitive deal negotiations or legal issues do not end up in the wrong hands. The description for Confide on the iTunes App Store states: “Spoken words disappear after they’re heard. But what you say online remains forever. We think this is crazy.” There is a market for this type of application, as investors garnered $1.9 million in seed funding. Investors included venture capital firms such as Google Ventures, First Round Capital and investors including Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin, and Billy Bush, the host of “Access Hollywood.”
The idea for Confide came about as the two founders, Howard Lerman and Jon Brod, were exchanging information about a potential hire. Brod was concerned about an email being accidentally forwarded or seen by someone other than its intended audience, as it was an important and honest reference he was giving out. The two then played “phone tag” for several days and then once they reached each other, discussed the need for “self-destructing messages,” according to Forbes.
When asked about the uses for Confide and secure messaging, Brod and Lerman discussed the various audiences who may utilize it. This includes drug dealers and criminals, unfortunately, but also in Hollywood, where phone tag episodes are common and confidential messages can be delayed because of busy schedules. Brod and Lerman also plan to sell premium services to power users in order to monetize the product.
Some of the main concerns with Snapchat are screenshots and the security of the photos sent, as Snapchat stores all photos on servers. Confide has addressed these issues, and uses end-to-end encryption, does not store messages on servers, and has “unparalleled” screenshot protection. The text-only app allows users to reveal only 25 characters of the message at a time by dragging their finger over it as the message quickly expires, allowing very sensitive information to be sent without any risk of revealing it to another person.
The use of “Snapchat for business” is an intriguing thought for me. It makes me wonder if it is truly necessary- will enough people use it and trust it enough to send things via “disappearing messages”? Or will it fall by the wayside as businesspeople stick with what they know – good old-fashioned phone calls? It will be interesting to see how popular Confide becomes and if the founders of the product figure out a solid way to monetize the app so not to let down their investors.
Bercovici, J. (2014, February 4). Snapchat For Business? It’s Called Confide, And It
Exists – Forbes. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from
Confide: Your off-the-record messenger on the App Store on iTunes. (n.d.). Retrieved