Confide Updates Its App To Make Sending Text-Based Ephemeral Messages Faster

Earlier this year, Confide launched the first version of its app to enable enterprise users to send and receive text-based messages that disappear when you’re done reading them. Today it’s hoping to improve the experience with a big update to the app that makes it a lot faster and easier to use.

Confide is like a lot of other ephemeral messaging apps, in that neither the sender or receiver of the message gets to keep a copy of it. Once those messages are read, they disappear into the ether.

How Confide differentiates is two-fold: For one thing, Confide is focused specifically on text rather than photos or videos. And it’s built an interesting “wanding” feature that allows users only to see one or two words at a time to keep them from being able to screen capture messages they receive.

The first version worked great for that, but due to Confide’s end-to-end encryption it was painfully slow to load new messages when received. The company has done a lot of work to re-engineer its back end and improve the speed of the app.

It now pre-computes some of the encryption, and sends messages in smaller payloads. It also refreshes messages in the background to ensure that they are already available when users open the app. As a result, the new version is up to 12 times faster based on the company’s tests, according to co-founder Howard Lerman.

Confide has also redesigned the user interface to make it less of an email-like listing of messages in one’s inbox. Instead, interactions are grouped around user names. In that way, you can no longer just look at a user’s inbox to see how many messages they’ve exchanged with others, or what previous subject lines were, all of which adds a new level of security through obscurity.

The new Confide also enables users to add contacts to a list of favorites, so they have easy access to the people they most want to communicate with. And the final new feature is designed to ensure people view messages you might send them. Once a message has been delivered, users can now click on an airplane icon, which will send a push notification to the recipient reminding them to check out unread messages.

Confide co-founder Jon Brod wouldn’t provide any absolute user numbers, but said that the app has users in more than 130 countries around the world. Its user base is about half iOS and half Android currently, even though its Android app was released a few months after iOS.

The company has raised $1.9 million in funding from investors that include WGI Group, Google Ventures, First Round Capital, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, CrunchFund*, Lakestar, Marker, David Tisch’s BoxGroup, Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman, Entourage creator Doug Ellin, and Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.


*TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is a founding partner of CrunchFund