Texting can go wrong—and it frequently does. We’ve all experienced horrible autocorrect fails, moments of anger or stupidity we’d love to take back and have sent messages to the wrong contact. It’s all painful and/or embarrassing stuff. That’s exactly why Ken Fried founded VaporChat: a free chatting app for iPhone and Android that allows you to vaporize texts that you don’t want floating around “out there”—out of your control.
Ken, who is also VaporChat’s CEO, says, “VaporChat is designed to empower users over their entire chatting experience. We looked at all the major pain points associated with traditional texting and solved them. With VaporChat, the user can simply “vapor” that text or photo they wish to they could take back at anytime and instantly remove it from his phone and the other person’s phone. Users can even vapor entire chats well after the fact.”
Ken says many users have been “saved” by VaporChat after sending very embarrassing texts and photos, which seem like one obvious use case. But the business world is getting in on the action as well. For example, two business partners in the major of a major deal communicated with their team using VaporChat in order to share confidential information that had to remain private.
Personally, I love the idea of VaporChat’s self-destructing text messages. By enabling Vapor Mode within a conversation, texts and photos will show a countdown timer; once that timer reaches 0 that element will disappear from both your own phone and the phone of the person whom you are texting. It’s like ensuring that you won’t leave anything behind.
I also like the built-in copy protection features which put you in direct control of what text and photos can be copied or saved. This means you could theoretically text a relative a photo of your credit card in a pinch (though that still seems a bit scary). If you disable copying, the person on the receiving end will see a message like, “Sender hasn’t allowed copying or saving.”
Which leaves the bane of many a text message gone awry: the screenshot. While VaporChat obviously can’t prohibit screenshots from being taken, it can at least detach your name from the conversation so you can’t be so easily tied to what was said or shared. In other words, your name and the info you shared can’t appear in a screenshot at the same time which is at least some sort of protection.
When I asked Ken what was in store for the future he said, “There’s huge demand for group chat so that is certainly top of the list.”