We’ve been anticipating its arrival since November of last year, and today Facebook has finally begun rolling out an ‘unsend’ feature for its widely-used messaging service.
Whether you’re using the dedicated Messenger app on iOS or Android or the browser-based version on desktop, from today users will be able to delete a message from a regular conversation or group chat within 10 minutes of sending it.
On mobile devices, you can access the feature by tapping on a message in the app, which will now show a new ‘remove’ menu item. Selecting the latter will then display two further options: ‘remove for you’ and ‘remove for everyone’. On desktop, users will need to click on the three dots next to a message and hit ‘remove’, after which you’ll get the same two options.
It’s worth noting that once a message has been removed, everyone in the chat will be able to see a replacement message stating that “[person] removed a message” – meaning you may not quite be able to just switch off your verbal filter and say whatever comes to mind, whenever you want.
While it may seem like a long time, the 10 minute time limit is also a little short, comparatively – WhatsApp, for example, gives users a whole hour to delete messages – and doesn’t give users very much time to realise they’ve made a mistake.
The ability to retract messages has become increasingly common on communications services – there’s even an ‘undo send’ option in Gmail – and the introduction of the feature to Facebook Messenger follows a promise made by the company in April 2018 after CEO Mark Zuckerberg was caught abusing the power himself.
The feature doesn’t currently appear to be available on Messenger Lite, but we may see it land on this stripped down version of the service in the near future.