Peek’s disappearing texts offer Snapchat-style privacy

peek

High-school senior Omar Martin Del Campo and his small team of developers have found a way to make text messaging even more secure. Peek lets you chat with friends via the app and your messages are erased as you read them.

The app asks you to authenticate with Twitter or Facebook to ensure your identity to your friends, and then you can chat away in the fairly clean, purple-themed interface on offer.

“Our focus,” said Del Campo in an email with Cult of Mac, “is a great user experience, beautiful design, simplicity and safe and secure messaging.”

Peek has amassed 10,000 users so far since its release five months ago, and there have been over 100,000 messages sent.

Del Campo says that the team first became interested in creating a secure messaging service in the wake of the NSA whistleblower story, hoping to make an app that would be equally adept in the enterprise as well as in everyday communications.

“Too often is a text message forwarded,” said Del Campo, “taken out of context and come back to haunt you. Peek stops all of that.”

He said that the team hasn’t seen much abuse of the privacy on offer via peek, a worry that could cause some users to avoid such an app with its Snapchat-like features.

“Signing up with Facebook and Twitter really prevents [abuse],” said Del Campo, “because in turn you can only chat with mutual friends.”

That said, Peek only uses your name and profile picture from your social network of choice, so there isn’t any other information attached that could be potentially used.

The app is free for a limited time, and there are no ads. How, then, does the team plan to sustain further development costs?

“It’s interesting that this question gets asked so often,” Del Campo said. “For us, the ultimate payoff is not money or fame. It’s having consumers fall in love with our product, knowing that it enhances their lives. We feel that ads ruin the entire experience, we don’t plan on having them anytime soon.”

Finding mutual friends in the app is a little tricky, as it seems most of my connections on either Facebook or Twitter don’t use the Peek app, but that could change if this takes off. Will it be the next Kik or Snapchat? With a clean interface and self-destructing messages, it very well could be.

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About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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