White House staffers are using this self-destructing-messages app to gossip in private — here’s how it works

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Confide

There’s a new messaging app trending in Washington, DC.

The Confide messaging app is used by White House staff members to talk about the Trump administration in private, The Washington Post and Axios reported.

The reason staffers chose Confide over other secure messaging apps like Signal is that Confide erases messages as soon as they’re read.

This feature has led to a spike in Confide users not only within the government, but also within journalism.

“Suddenly popular among White House reporters: Confide,” Olivier Knox, a Washington correspondent for Yahoo, tweeted on Tuesday.

“It’s absolutely bananas over here,” Confide President Jon Brod told Business Insider about the attention the small New York-based company has received after the recent reports.

Confide is also introducing a new, free verified-badge program for reporters around the world, Brod said in a Confide message. The blue checkmark will go next to the journalist’s username, similar to Twitter.

Here’s what you need to know about Confide, the self-destructing-messages app:


This is what Confide looks like. Those blocks mean you’ve received a message but haven’t opened it. It’s available on most platforms, including Mac, iOS, and Android.

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Confide

To read a message, you hold your finger on the blocks, which reveals the message underneath, line by line. This makes it harder to screenshot or photograph the entire message.

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Confide

When you’ve finished reading or some time has elapsed, the message disappears, and the app shows an animation of the blocks crumbling.

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Confide

Confide is also useful because these self-destructing and limited-viewing features can also be applied to images and documents.

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Confide

It’s free, but you can pay to unlock additional features, including message retraction.

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Confide

Here’s more info »


The self-destructing feature especially is why White House staffers worried about being caught leaking have adopted the app. According to Axios, “numerous senior GOP operatives and several members of the Trump administration have downloaded the app, spurred by the airing of hacked Democratic emails.”

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

More details here »


White House staffers are using Confide because they’re worried about being accused of leaking information to the media, The Washington Post reported.

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The White House

More information here »


Confide says it deletes all messages from its servers and wipes them from people’s devices after they’ve been read.

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Donald Trump.
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Still, some security researchers are skeptical about Confide’s cryptography bona fides, mostly because the app is not open-source like Signal and may use old protocols.


You can download Confide for iPhone, Mac, Android, and Windows.

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Confide

Confide has been around for three years and has raised $3 million in funding from GV, SV Angel, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.

More details and links are on the Confide website »