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BBM now offers message retraction and Snapchat-like timed messages

BBM users with a tendency to send messages before their brain has had a chance to fully comprehend the likely consequences of their memo can now retract it with a single tap.

The new feature, released over the weekend as part of the messaging app’s latest update, will also come in handy for situations where you accidentally fire off a message to the wrong person, an act which, depending on its content, can cause the sender to very quickly feel anything from mild embarrassment to vomit-inducing terror.

Taking a leaf out of Snapchat’s book, BlackBerry has also introduced ‘timed messages’ to BBM, so now you’re able to set the number of seconds your message appears on a friend’s smartphone before it vanishes.

And should the recipient take a screenshot of one of your timed messages, thereby creating a permanent record of it before it disappears, you’ll receive a notification via BBM.

BlackBerry said in a post introducing the cross-platform update that these new privacy features have been well received by users who’ve been testing them out over the last few weeks, with some claiming they add “a whole new dynamic” to the messaging service.

Other new features include a “quicker sticker picker” that does what it says on the tin – enable faster selection of stickers to include in your BBM chats; ‘HD picture transfer’ making it easier to send and receive high-quality images via BBM; and ‘discover music’ that lets you learn more about what kind of music your BBM buddies are listening to.

BlackBerry said some time ago it was working on a monetization plan for BBM, and as part of this effort it’ll be asking users to pay for message retraction and timed messages after three months of free use. The idea is to include the two features as part of a new BBM subscription service that’s set to include a “broad bundle” of premium features. We’re yet to be told precisely what this paid-for package will include, or how much BBM users will be asked to pay, though we’ll be sure to pass on the details just as soon as we find out.

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