For anyone who has ever felt the dread of sending a message they quickly regret, Facebook is coming to the rescue. The social media giant added a new feature to its Messenger platform giving users a 10-minute window to delete a message they regret.
The “unsend” feature will delete the message on the sender’s and recipient’s feeds.
The company released the new 191.0 update and said the following about the feature:
“Coming soon: Remove a message from a chat thread after it's been sent. If you accidentally send the wrong photo, incorrect information or message the wrong thread, you can easily correct it by removing the message within ten minutes of sending it.”
By comparison, popular messaging tool WhatsApp gives users an hour to delete messages and delete it from a recipient’s inbox.
Messenger has been testing the “unsend” option since April. The discovery came about as Facebook owned up to deleting messages from CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO having the freedom to do so.
TechCrunch originally reported the news that Facebook deleted messages on behalf of Zuckerberg and other executives to their users. Messages from Zuckerberg had disappeared from Messenger threads, but their replies remained. This technology, TechCrunch found, could be traced all the way back to 2010.
Initially, Facebook claimed this was entirely for security measures in light of the 2014 Sony Pictures hack.
Regardless of why it was pulled together, the unsend feature will be coming to user accounts soon with the latest version of the app.
While we still advise thinking twice before you hit “send” on that rage-filled message to your ex, at least you have a 10-minute window to swallow your words as a safety net.
Interesting Engineering will continue monitoring this story and add more information as the story develops.