Have you ever accidentally sent a message on WhatsApp that you wish you hadn’t? Well, starting today, you can delete it — as long as you catch it within the first seven minutes. If you do, however, your recipient will instead see a “This message was deleted” alert.
The feature is called “delete for everyone,” and is essentially an extension of a previous feature that lets you delete messages, but only for yourself. Hence, it was fairly useless if you had just sent a message to the wrong person, as the recipient could still see it. With today’s update, however, when you delete a message, it means that everyone will no longer be able to see it.
That said, this feature only works in the latest update of WhatsApp, and all participants in the conversation must have this latest update for it to work. Seeing as the rollout of this new update is relatively slow, you should probably double check your messages before sending for the time being.
The feature is clearly labeled, too, so you’ll now see an option called ‘Delete for everyone’ when you select the trashcan option after tapping and holding on a message. If someone on the other end tries to read the message in the future they’ll get a notification saying ‘This message was deleted’. Again, though, you’ll have to act within seven minutes of sending the message for it to work.
Update and wait
You may have to wait a while to enjoy the full benefits of the new feature. For one, it’s a gradual rollout, so not every user has it yet. Secondly, both users will need to have the latest version of WhatsApp running for it to work properly, otherwise you may hit ‘Delete for everyone’ and sadly find that everyone but you can still see the message – WhatsApp won’t send you a notification if this turns out to be the case.
And then, of course, there’s always the chance that the recipient will see your message anyway, allowing them to screenshot your ‘mistakes’ for everyone to see.
In other words, we’re glad the feature has made it to WhatsApp, but you might still want to play it safe and just be more aware of what you’re sharing when you send a message.