Viber is a popular messaging app that can downloaded on most major smartphones. It’s popular around the world, but most of its users reside in the United Kingdom. The app can be used to make international and national calls, send text messages and photos, and stay in touch – all for free.
The company has recently launched a new update and with it a few new features- one of which, is said to be a copycat version of a populer Snapchat feature. The feature in question is Viber’s new ‘Secret Message’ feature. The feature has an auto-destruct option, meaning that after a set amount of time (that the sender specifies), the message will self-destruct and be deleted from Viber’s servers. It’s an awesome idea for a feature- but not an original idea, as Snapchat has already been utilizing the idea.
Both apps market this feature in a different way. Viber Messenger claims that the self-destructing messages are meant to allow users to keep track of their messages, and set a self-destruction timer (for privacy) on every message that they put into the conversation.
Snapchat markets the idea by stating that the self-destructing feature is to ensure that prying eyes can’t keep track of messages that are sent through the app.
Really, both apps have the same idea: privacy. Privacy for app users is a big thing, so it’s no wonder that an idea like self-destructing messages would be put to the test on multiple apps. Snapchat isn’t very happy about Viber’s use of this idea, though, and are claiming that Viber stole the idea (and other ideas) from right under their noses.
Another idea that Snapchat claims Viber took was the feature that allows users to be notified when a screenshot is taken of their sent message. Snapchat claims that this feature is important for privacy and was first created for Snapchat to use.
However, upon further research into this feature, it appears that other messaging apps have also been using the idea of self-destructing messages. So, is it really fair to say that Viber stole the idea? Should Snapchat creators be so upset? It’s truly a matter of opinion, and there is no right or wrong answer. The debate between who stole whose idea and what should be done about it is far from over, though and we’ll be seeing headlines about the matter in the future.