Can Snapchat-inspired self-destruct features be a thing in China?

Facebook has just launched a Snapchat-like new feature, “Messenger Day” on its chat app, which allows users to share decorated photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. WhatsApp and Instagram have also previously released similar features.

While self-destruct features have been popular in western countries, Chinese people have seemingly yet to take a fancy to this chatting style. However, many Chinese communication or dating apps have added similar features to their services.

China Business Journal reported that many Chinese companies have been following Snapchat’s model and provided self-destruct features. One of them is Blublu, whose founding team said that the function hasn’t yet become popular in China, giving startups a chance to compete with tech giants.

Here are five apps where you can try out the feature that western millennials are crazy about.


Photo from Momo.
Photo from Momo.

Founded: 2011
Founder: Tang Yan (Co-founder)
Users: 81.1 million
Financing status:
Annual revenue: USD 553.1 million in 2016

As a major dating app in China, the existence of Momo’s self-destruct feature came as no surprise. The app allows users to share photos and short videos that would expire within a customized time frame, usually within 24 hours.


Photo from
The pop-up screen in Alipay suggests that the message has been deleted after being read. Photo from

Founded: 2014
Founder: Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma
Users: 400 million

Alipay is known as a third-party online payment platform that has 400 million users worldwide. Alipay decided to gear up its private communication settings in 2015 by adding the self-destruct function onto its messaging feature.


Photo from Sobrr.
Photo from Sobrr.

Founded: 2014
Founder: Bruce Yang
Users: Unknown
Financing status: Unknown
Everything on Sobrr expires in one day regardless of whether it has been viewed or not.

Founded by Bruce Yang in 2014, the social networking app boasts a 24-hour friendship feature that allows users to start a conversation with someone in their local area. The conversation only last for 24 hours unless both sides tap “Keep.”


"The message has been automatically deleted after being read," reads the system message in DingTalk. Photo from DingTalk.
“The message has been automatically deleted after being read,” reads the system message in DingTalk. Photo from DingTalk.

Founded: 2014
Founder: Alibaba Group
Users: 2.4 million enterprises

DingTalk, an app developed by Alibaba, is a communication and collaboration platform designed for office use. The app features a “bathing mode,” where chat messages are deleted after 30 seconds from when they are read.


Photo from AKeyChat.
AkeyChat provides an encrypted messaging service with self-destruct features. Photo from AKeyChat.

Founded: 2014
Founder: Liu Lin
Users: Unknown
Financing status: RMB 10 million (USD 1.45 million) in series pre-A in 2015

AKeyChat is not just a simple office communication app. Aside from the self-destruct feature, the app is also equipped with a “No!Shot” function to prevent snapshots. Users can also recall messages or completely delete conversations.

(Top photo from

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