Rumors have been flying for quite some months now that WhatsApp users might start being able to permanently delete a message from a chat window. Namely, that they will be able to delete both their copy of the message and the one sent to the receiver, in an action also known as message recalls.
After months of rumors and false alarms, WhatsApp announced that this option will become generally available to all users once it is completely rolled out.
Message Recalls, Helpful but Still With a Few Bugs
Beta versions of WhatsApp used to offer a glimpse at a message recall function, but this never worked properly, according to reports. Now, the soon-to-be or already released message deletion function lets users remove a message sent in a conversation by accident, one that might have been a mistake or perhaps had a typo, among other common reasons.
This option was already available, but it only deleted the text from the sender’s end, and not from the receiver’s as well. Now, the message deletion option should completely erase an unwanted message from both chat windows.
However, this doesn’t mean the message won’t leave traces or that the option is already perfectly functional. Namely, the feature only works for messages that are less than seven minutes old.
Also, after erasing the message, all of those involved in the conversation will see a message that will announce that “You deleted this message” or that “This message was deleted”. Users looking to erase something within the seven minutes timeframe will see a popup that will offer them three options.
One is the expected “Cancel”, the other is a “Delete For Me (Sender)”, and the last one is the “Delete For Everyone”.
Message recalls started rolling out on October 27 and is currently only functional for users that have the latest WhatsApp version on their devices. The current version of this feature may also come with several bugs or misgivings.
Namely, the option might not function all the time, and the receiver might get to see the message before this gets deleted if it does. Still, the sender will be notified if the ‘delete for all’ choice was unsuccessful.
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