Last updated November 10th 2015
Have you ever texted your ex after a couple of drinks and ended up regretting it the next morning? Did you accidentally share an unflattering picture of yourself with a WhatsApp group? Or maybe you meant to gossip about your boss with someone else, but instead sent the message to him?
If any of these situations sound painfully familiar to you, then weep no more – there’s a smartphone application that will solve your problem.
New app SessMe, developed in Israel, is a social chat application that allows its users to delete messages and pictures they shared from the device of the person who received them. The content is saved on the ‘cloud’ and can be tracked down and deleted anytime and anywhere in the world.
The service includes other innovative features, for example: It protects content from being obtained without consent by blocking the option of taking screenshots; instead, the app sends a notification in case someone attempts to take a screenshot of your message. SessMe also allows its users to schedule messages, videos and pictures to be sent out on a specific date, a real blessing for those of us who struggle with remembering important dates and occasions.
“Sharing is fun, but it is not supposed to hurt anyone.”
SessMe challenges the idea that what goes online stays there forever; indeed, it promises to let its users delete any of their mistakes. The app, however, has the potential to do much more than protecting us from our social faux pas – it could actually become a powerful tool to prevent online shaming.
“Teenagers nowadays share materials in every situation – everything goes on social media,” SessMe VP Esther Liebersohn Namer tells NoCamels. “My seven-year-old daughter already witnessed a case of a girl whose embarrassing picture was taken during gym class. It went viral on WhatsApp, and the girl was humiliated; there was no way of tracking that photo or preventing further sharing.”
Simply put, once the damage is done and your content falls into the wrong hands, there seems to be no way to make it right again. “At SessMe, we want our users to take care of themselves and of the information they share,” Liebersohn continues. “Sharing is fun, but it is not supposed to hurt anyone.”
Head to head with Snapchat?
SessMe is entering a tough market. It faces the well-established competitor Snapchat, a hugely popular app that can delete messages, videos and photos from all devices right after they’re sent.
While Snapchat claims to have 100 million users, budding startup SessMe has so far recruited hundreds of thousands of users, according to Liebersohn. “SessMe is competing with sharks, but its unique features have the potential for success,” she tells NoCamels.
SessMe claims that its privacy settings – including screenshot warnings, locked and masked messages, as well as private chats whose content cannot be forwarded – are more secure than those of Snapchat, and guarantee against unwanted sharing.
“Our app could be the greatest revolution in the way we communicate online and constitute a strong security tool protecting privacy in the social media society,” she says.
However, it remains to be seen if people will abandon popular social media outlets like Facebook, which has 1.5 billion users, and flock to more private platforms such as SessMe.
Founded last year by Israeli entrepreneurs Ofer Ben-David and Haim Saar, SessMe has so far raised an undisclosed amount from angel investors; the company declined to provide further financial information.
Photos and videos courtesy of SessMe