Cyber Dust Review of Cubans Private Messaging App is Too Inconvenient

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 7 Aug 2014

Dozens of companies are trying to build the next Snapchat or Secret, hoping to strike gold with yet another app designed to keep your messages private. It may seem odd that the latest crusader for digital privacy is gregarious Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban. He was making the rounds to promote his app Cyber Dust. Telling media organizations he had rethought privacy needs after his battle with the SEC over accusations of insider trading. He was acquitted in a jury trial. A messaging app is only worthwhile if you have someone with whom to chat. The setup process for Cyber Dust lets you connect to social networks. And scan your contacts for anyone already using the application. This feels a little awkward, given that the app is devoted to privacy. Cyber Dust also mistakenly tells you that Android devices can’t take screenshots. More accurately, screenshots are disabled in most places of the app, such as the conversations. When attempting to take a screenshot of a notification pops up.
Despite what Cyber Dust says, your Android phone can take screenshots.


Setting up my contacts was somewhat inconsistent. I received several Unable to send invitation errors for SMS and email invites. The absence of Cyber Dust users is another problem. My contacts are filled with early adopters. Only one had an active Cyber Dust account. An app will undoubtedly take time to grow its user base. Still, the need to convert all one’s friends to Cyber Dust is unappealing in an already crowded, fragmented messaging space.
Like Snapchat, Cyber Dust’s Blast feature sends photos. Android users can draw on them or emoji monkeys to a group of others. Nothing is as exciting as a notification that someone has sent you a monkey.

                                                           Flash notifications alert you to incoming messages, images, or monkeys.


Cyber Dust also attempts to tap into its inner Twitter with celebrity accounts you can follow. Of course, Cuban is there as +BlogMaverick. In a multitasking world, having messages that disappear after 30 seconds is more of a nuisance than a security feature. Too often, I prefer to reference a past conversation or check an address that a friend sent me. Cyber Dust tries to resolve this by allowing you to pin messages for later reference. However, deciding when to save conversations is an extra cognitive task I usually don’t wish to exert.

CyberDust may be all about privacy. But it still can connect to social networks.

Target Users

Cyber Dust will probably work for those with specific use cases in mind. Ranging from business negotiations to NSF conversations better left off the record. But you’ll have to convince your friend’s colleagues to start using it first.
The need for more digital privacy is a serious issue, and companies like Facebook are pushing their private messaging solutions. Cyber Dust comes far short of its lofty ambitions. Joining a crowded field of messaging apps fighting to not save your messages.