Have you ever sent a message that you instantly regretted? Facebook Messenger now allows you to unsend your typo-ridden, impulsive messages. The catch? You will only have ten minutes to remove the message.
Users will need to open the Facebook Messenger app on their desktop, laptop, or smart device and open the conversation with the desired message. They will need to press and hold the message if they are using a smartphone or select the three dots icon if they are on a desktop or laptop. Users must then select “remove” or “remove for everyone” next to the message.
The “remove for everyone” feature will guarantee that the message will be deleted from the inbox of everyone who was initially supposed to receive it. If you select “remove”, the message will only be deleted in your inbox. If the user is able to delete the message within then minutes of sending it, they can rest easy.
It is important to note that the feature has not fully rolled out to all users. We discovered that some users are only able to “remove” their messages and are not yet able to “remove for everyone”. Hopefully the feature will be fully available by the end of the week.
Until recently, this feature was only available to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives. This past spring a number of sources revealed that certain messages received from Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives were erased from their Messenger thread, while their own replies remained. According to Facebook representatives, “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…”
At the time, many were frustrated that only Facebook executives had the power to delete messages. Others argued that Facebook did not have the right to delete anyone’s message as long as the content followed Facebook guidelines. Most were concerned that Facebook had so much power over private communications. After the incident, Facebook promised that the unsend or remove button would soon be more widely available.
The feature is now here, so use your new power wisely. The “remove” button will hopefully give Facebook users more control over their privacy.