Have you ever sent an embarrassing message on social media that you immediately wished you could take back? It’s 2019, so of course you have. Fortunately, Instagram allows its users to “unsend” a message, as long as the recipient hasn’t opened it yet and moving forward, Facebook will give you a 10-minute grace period to “remove” messages you sent another user. Obviously, you should still think twice before you hit the “send” button, but at least you’ve got a chance to fix any future lapses in judgment.
Mashable reports: “Facebook Messenger is finally rolling out the unsend button it promised nearly a year ago. The feature is in the latest version of the Messenger app on iOS and Android, Facebook said Tuesday.”
“In order to exercise your newfound message deletion powers” the site explains, “all you have to do is tap on a message in a conversation and select ‘remove.’ The app will then ask if you want to remove the message for everyone or just for you (the latter keeps the message visible to other participants, while hiding it from your view). There is, however, one important catch: you only have a 10-minute window to delete your messages. Once ten minutes have elapsed, you’re stuck with your embarrassing typo-ridden messages forever.”
According to the site, Facebook started working on the new feature last April after “it was reported that a number of Zuckerberg’s old Facebook messages had mysteriously disappeared from the recipients’ inboxes years after the fact”…the same could be said for a number of executives.
In a statement to Tech Crunch, the company issued an explanation, saying “After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.” Almost a year later, us regular degular folks have finally reached Mark Zuckerberg status—sort of.
You won’t be able to remove old messages, but you’ve got a shot at avoiding humiliation moving forward, with Mashable stating the feature is “not retroactive like it was for Zuckerberg. So, if you were hoping to clear out your cringeworthy chat history from years back, you’re going to be out of luck.” If you use Facebook Messenger, chime in and let us know what you think about the new feature.