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WhatsApp is finally rolling out a feature that will let users to retract and delete messages they’ve already sent.
Although it doesn’t seem to be live worldwide just yet, a brief tutorial is available on WhatsApp’s FAQ.
“Deleting messages for everyone allows you to delete specific messages you have sent to either a group or an individual chat. This is particularly useful if you sent a message to the wrong chat or if the message you sent contains a mistake,” it reads.
Yes. That means you can now delete an erroneous, embarrassing or awkward message from your device and the recipient’s device.
Here’s how to use the feature:
- Open WhatsApp (obviously) and go to the chat containing the message you wish to delete
- Tap and hold the message. You can also tap more messages to delete multiple messages at once
- Tap the Delete icon at the top of the screen, then select Delete for everyone
Great, right? Sure, but there are a few caveats.
For one, you’ll need to be swift. The time window to retract a message is only open for seven minutes after sending. After those arbitrary seven minutes elapse, you’ll be unable to delete the message from their device.
Unsending the message will not be completely discrete either. The recipient will know that you did in fact send a message, but it will be removed from their notifications list. They’ll instead be met with a “This message was deleted” notice within WhatsApp itself.
working in india 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/8vtBza01BC
— MR.BCOM (@itzme_omsairam) October 28, 2017
And finally, the feature will only work if both sender and recipient are using the latest version of WhatsApp.
Although WhatsApp’s “delete for everyone” feature will help users guard against sending drunk messages to former lovers, awkward anecdotes to parents instead of loved ones or even worse, your boss, we can’t help but feel a message confirmation system would be the best form of prevention.
Some also wanted another option to discretely leave chat groups.
WhatsApp, All we wanted was to leave groups chats without anybody knowing and now we get
“This message was deleted”
for everyone to see.. 😒 pic.twitter.com/11oMCMEdSM
— Subliminal (@innocitto) October 30, 2017
Still, this latest unsend feature joins WhatsApp’s recent roll of improvements, including a feature to actively share your location with friends on your contact list.
Expect the feature to be available on Android, iOS and Windows worldwide in the coming days.
Feature image: Memeburn