Unsend, unsend! New WhatsApp feature lets you take back sent messages

Everyone’s been there. Maybe you’re carrying on multiple conversations at the same time, or perhaps you sent something while in a fit of anger. Either way, everyone has sent messages that they wish they could take back, and now WhatsApp users have a way of doing just that.

WABetainfo reports that WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to delete messages sent to groups or individuals.

The new feature is easy enough to use. Simply tap the message you want to remove and select the “Delete” option. You can also select multiple messages at the same time if you feel like you’ve really messed up. Deleted messages will then be replaced with a message reading “This message was deleted.”

As handy as this feature is, there are some limitations that are worth bearing in mind such as the time limit. Messages may only be deleted within seven minutes of being sent. After that, they’re as permanent as any message sent by WhatsApp. It’s a slightly annoying limitation, but then again, we imagine most people will have read the message within seven minutes, so the time limit likely won’t affect too many users.

Another issue, and one that might cause more problems, is the fact that this feature will only work if both parties have the latest version of WhatsApp installed. If your contacts are slow with updates, then this feature won’t work for you, and you won’t receive any warning that the deletion request was unsuccessful.

The final caveat regarding this feature is that it might not be available for everyone just yet. WABetainfo noted that WhatsApp was being very slow in rolling out this feature. If it hasn’t already been activated, you can try reinstalling the app, but there’s no guarantee that the new feature will be functional. In that case, your only option is to wait, but we imagine WhatsApp will begin speeding up the process.

This new feature has been in the works for some time now. Evidence of its existence was reported earlier this year when WABetainfo was examining WhatsApp’s code.