Just over a month ago I wrote a full review of Wire Secure Messenger. Two weeks later I wrote an update explaining how Wire had integrated support for two security/privacy-focused browsers: Brave and Snowhaze. Two weeks later I find myself writing a second update. This time Wire ephemeral messages have changed in a couple big ways.
Wire Ephemeral Messages Intervals
I lodged two complaints in reference to Wire’s handling of message ephemerality. The first is that the time intervals did not offer much dispersion. Four options were at one minute or under, and the longest option was one day. I am very happy to report that this has changed, and changed meaningfully. Now Wire ephemeral messages can be set to self-destruct at the following intervals: 10 seconds, 5 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, and 4 weeks.
These intervals offer excellent dispersion, and excellent options depending on one’s needs. It is important to remember the rationale behind message ephemerality. It is not so that you can send messages to someone you don’t trust and be guaranteed they can’t save them. Ephemeral messages are intended to prevent you from carrying weeks’, months’, or years’ worth of messages around on your device. Wire’s new intervals let you choose if your messages need to be destroyed in a matter of seconds or minutes, or if they can hang around for a few days or weeks.
Wire Ephemeral Messages: Syncing
Wire has also rolled out a couple of other changes to their ephemeral message settings. The best change (for me) is that your timed messages are now synced across all of your devices. Previously, timed messages sent on your phone would not appear in Wire on your computer (and vise-versa). This could create some confusion when bouncing between devices. I am happy to report that messages sent on one device will appear on your other devices, even if Wire ephemeral messages are enabled.
There are a couple of other minor changes, as well. Wire also added a conversation timer to group messages. This allows all messages in a group conversation to expire after a set interval. Since we’re on the topic of group messengers, the number of participants in a group is now 256 (from 128).
Again, I am glad that Wire is listening to its user base and making changes that directly benefit the end user. This is very refreshing to see. There are still a couple changes I would like to see: when you set a timer on one device, I would like to see that same timer enforced in the same conversation on your other devices. I would also like a per-account default timer (I’d probably set mine at 1 day, and customize conversations based on recipient and content). Still, I’m not complaining – this kind of change is very impressive, and very much appreciated. If you’re not using Wire Secure Messenger, check it out!