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Google’s Gmail to self-destruct in 3, 2, 1 . . .

Google is testing a new feature that allows emails to self-destruct, according to media reports.

Google notified its G-suite users of the changes coming to Gmail including the self-destruct feature.

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When composing an email, users can click on a lock icon to switch on the feature. Here’s what happens:

  • The recipient can’t forward, download, copy-paste, or print the email content, although users can still take a screenshot
  • The sender can ask the recipient to confirm their identity through a verification code sent to their phone.

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  • The settings can be adjusted to auto-delete the email in a stipulated period of time.
  • Recipients need to login again or confirm their account through a verification code to view the confidential email

It is unclear at this time if and how the feature will work with non-Gmail users. Although services like Crypt-a-byte and Snapmail –which can be installed as a Chrome extension – already, offer this feature.

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Since the launch of Snapchat, there has been a steady rise in ephemeral content with Instagram and Facebook also launching their ‘Stories’ feature. However, the popularity of self-destructing content has largely been seen in the social media space especially among younger audiences. But now Gmail too seems to be following suit with this latest feature.

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