WhatsApp is currently issuing an update to its app, allowing users to unsend or delete messages for both parties after they’ve been sent. This can be done for private conversations as well as group chats. A feature like this has been long overdue on WhatsApp, given how rival IM application, Telegram, has had it for quite some time.
When users try to delete a message from a group or private conversation, they will now see two prompts – “Delete for everyone” and “Delete for me”, with the latter option merely clearing out the message from your phone.
Once deleted from the conversation, people will see a “This message was deleted” marker in place of the original message. There’s a 7-minute restriction however, which means you will have less than seven minutes after sending the message to make up your mind.
The feature has a number of loopholes, though. For example, when a user has already read your message on the notifications window, deleting it from your conversations will be futile. This is something that WhatsApp acknowledges in its FAQ page as well, suggesting that the system is not fool proof. The company claims that the users “may see your messages before it’s deleted or if deletion was not successful.”
WhatsApp also warns of potential scenarios where the app fails to delete messages. Unfortunately, the app won’t notify the user if the message deletion failed. Also, and more importantly, both parties need to be on the latest version of WhatsApp to use this feature.
The update is currently live in many parts of the world and should reach other regions fairly soon.
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