Facebook now lets you delete messages for 10 minutes after they've already been sent — here's how to use the feature
Facebook Messenger has given its users the ability to delete their messages, up to 10 minutes after they've already been sent out.
The new feature is designed for anyone who has "accidentally sent a message to the wrong group of friends, mistyped something, or simply wanted to remove a message in a chat," Facebook says.
This "unsend" feature was first teased back in April 2018, and additional details were spotted in the release notes for a Messenger app update in November. Now, it's available for all users.
Facebook's initial announcement about this feature was made after TechCrunch reported that old messages sent by CEO Mark Zuckerberg were disappearing from recipients' inboxes without their knowledge. Facebook claimed it had deleted the messages for security reasons in the wake of the 2014 hack of Sony executives' emails.
But critics reamed Facebook for its actions, claiming the social network had breached user trust, and set different standards for company executives and the general public. Experts also warned that letting users "unsend" messages could promote abuse and harassment on the platform, since evidence of such behavior could be removed.
However, the added ability to "unsend" text on Messenger is long-delayed considering that similar features have long existed on Facebook-owned apps WhatsApp and Instagram. WhatsApp added an "unsend" feature in 2017 for messages up to an hour after they've been sent, and Instagram has allowed for users to remove messages ever since direct messaging was added to the platform in 2013.
Now that Facebook Messenger has finally joined the party, here's how you can "unsend" messages:
The "unsend" feature will only work for up to 10 minutes after a message has initially been sent. Locate the message you want to "unsend," and long press on the text bubble. Along with the reaction emojis that appear, a row will pop up at the bottom of the screen with three options: "forward," "save," or "remove." Click "remove."
After you press "remove," you'll be given the two options for what to do with the message: "remove for everyone," which will delete the message for all parties in the chat, or "remove for you," which only deletes the message from your side of the chat — in case you want it removed from a screenshot, for instance.
Before deleting your message, Messenger will prompt you to double-check you want to permanently remove your message from the chat.
The deleted message will be replaced in your chat with text alerting everyone in the conversation that a message has been removed.