'You' Season 4's Evanesce app isn't real, but several disappearing text apps do exist.

Unfortunately, That Creepy App From You Is More Real Than It Should Be

There are similar ones IRL.


The new season of You introduced Joe to a technological twist. Shortly after realizing he was being framed for murder, Joe noticed a mysterious new app on his phone called Evanesce. Strangely, Joe didn’t immediately break into the chorus of “Bring Me To Life” like any true millennial would, and that’s probably because the book nerd turned faux-literature professor is well aware of the word’s true meaning. As its name suggests, the Evanesce app let Joe discreetly communicate with the season’s anonymous killer using instantly vanishing text messages. Since it’s such a big part of Season 4, fans might wonder whether You’s Evanesce app is real. Technically, it’s not, but functionally, there are quite a few apps that do the same thing Evanesce does.

As the only line of communication between Joe and the true killer, Evanesce plays a major role in You’s new London-based season. Joe found the app on his phone after blacking out at Sundry House due to all that absinthe he downed, so he quickly deduced one of the partiers there that night downloaded it to his cell while he was passed out.

Throughout Joe’s investigation, the killer uses the app to prod at him, revealing that he uncovered Joe’s true identity and goading him into killing again.


While Evanesce itself isn’t something you can actually download from the app store, a feature that makes texts disappear after a few seconds is far from a new concept. Most famously, Snapchat allows users to send both photos and messages that vanish for good shortly after they’re opened. Most other popular social media platforms and texting services have also implemented a self-destructing messaging feature in recent years, like Instagram and Facebook Messenger’s “Vanish Mode,” WhatsApp’s “Disappearing Messages,” and Gmail’s “Confidential Mode.”

However, Evanesce is more similar to certain specific messaging apps that make privacy their top priority — like Telegram, which allows users to send vanishing messages in “Secret Chats,” and Confide, which boasts screenshot-proof technology to ensure messages won’t live on past their expiration time.

So, as strange as it may seem, Joe’s mysterious entanglement isn’t as far-fetched as you might think... although it’s still pretty unlikely that you’d get framed for multiple murders by downloading an app like Evanesce, so don’t worry too much.