HOW MANY times have you sent off, in the heat of the moment, a “strongly-worded” text, only for you to cool down a bit and realize that you acted way too rashly, wishing you c0uld just take it back? ‘Til now, you’ve just had to buck up and deal with the consequences of your hair-trigger texting. But no more. Ansa, a new app recently released for Androids and iPhones, has the ability to delete texts from both the phones of the sender (AKA you) and the recipient (your ex-boyfriend). Looks like your prayers have been Ansa’d.
The app offers other options to communicate apart from texting, allowing you to send photos and videos, as well — there’s even a drawing setting for you extra-creative folk. There’s an “off the record” option which will automatically delete everything that you send to someone else within 60 seconds of being read, very similar to the way Snapchat works.
But besides being able to send Inspector Gadget style self-destructing texts, you can also go back and delete texts (or dirty doodles) that you sent months ago. Everything you send within the app remains stored on the Ansa server, where it will lay awaiting you to change your fickle mind. You can even log onto the app’s server from a different phone, making the fact that you smashed your iPhone out of regret and disgust just a little bit easier to deal with.
The Ansa app was created by 23 year-old Natalie Bryla of San Francisco, who either has a lot of scandalous secrets to keep or just wants to cash in on the ones she knows you have. The app refers to itself as “the safest place to let go, and be yourself with friends.” As if we’ve been holding back, anyway. But the idea of safety is an interesting one. According to the app’s website, “Ansa uses military grade encryption and client-side key storage to make sure nobody but the people talking can access the messages exchanged.” This apparently includes the company itself — they might save the messages and conversations on their server, but they can’t access them. If this claim proves true and not just a gimmick designed to attract users, Ansa might provide an oasis of digital security in a sea of hackers, security breaches, NSA-style government surveillance, and just plain-old nosy busybodies. Or at least try.
The only downside to Ansa’s magic abilities is that you need to be texting through the app for it to work. So if your drunken self forgot to open a separate app through which to chew out your best friend for not living up to the BFF code, well… you’re plain out of luck erasing it. But if you did remember to use Ansa, you can delete the message and then try your luck at convincing her that it was all just a bad dream or hallucination, that you would never ever do that in a million years.
In most text circumstances, I can assure you that if I receive any sort of scandalous, funny, surprising, or WTF-bro texts, I’ve done a swift screenshot and forwarded the photo on to my best friend before they could have the chance to self-destruct anyway. It seems that Ansa saw people like me coming from a mile away, though. If you try to screen shot a conversation within the app, the other party will be immediately notified, your account will be flagged for inappropriate behavior, and such a breach in their confidentiality terms of service could lead to legal repercussions. Gulp.