Is You’s Evanesce a Real Messaging App?

Netflix’s ‘You’ follows the story of Joe Goldberg who aims for a fresh start in the fourth season of the show. He has moved to London where no one is aware of his past and the murders he committed. He really believes that this time, he can change himself, living a quiet and reclusive life with no romantic attachments (or more accurately, obsessions). However, things are never so easy with Joe and soon he finds blood on his hands. What makes it worse is that there is someone out there who has become interested in his real identity and is threatening to expose him. This mysterious person contacts Joe only through Evanesce, a texting app in which messages disappear as soon as they are read. If you are wondering whether this app is real, then here’s what you need to know.

Evanesce is a Fictional Element in the Story

No, Evanesce in ‘You’ is not a real texting app. It is a made-up app used to serve the plot by making it impossible for Joe to produce proof in his defense. It shows that the murderer is very clever and had elaborately planned the murder to wash their hands off of it. It also helps Joe realize that the murderer must be someone inside the victim’s friend circle because they are the only ones who could have accessed Joe’s phone as well as his apartment.

While Evanesce might not be real, texting apps these days have the option of disappearing messages. Apps like Snapchat, Confide, and Cover Me, among others, offer the user the option of setting a self-destruct timer on their messages which disappear after they have been read by the receiver. With the privacy of the users being a priority, apps offer end-to-end encryption while also giving options like View Once which doesn’t allow the recipient to access media after it has been seen.

Considering the plethora of apps at everyone’s disposal now, one might wonder why TV shows like ‘You’, don’t simply use a real app’s name. Why do they need to create an entirely different name, especially when there are times when the audience can easily guess the real app that the made-up one is supposed to represent? The reason is the legal bind that TV shows might end up in if the company believes that they have been misrepresented. For example, there is a well-known rule from Apple that doesn’t allow bad guys to own their products in movies and TV shows. In a similar vein, a serial killer using a certain app could be considered as defamation by a company leading a TV show into more trouble than its worth.

As reported in The Washington Post, James Crowne said, “The easy way around that is to pretend it [apps] has nothing to do with real-life parties and give it a fictionalized name. That gives you the liberty to cast the details of the dispute in a way that suits your storyline. Generally, legal departments of entertainment networks want to avoid getting those letters [concerning potential lawsuits]. So instead of asking the company for permission, they make the writers change the names to something more innocuous, or just write around it completely.” With this in mind, it is clear that Evanesce is not a real app but is much like any other real-life app.

Read More: How Many Did Joe Goldberg Kill in You? Who All Has Joe Killed in You?