On WhatsApp you can revoke your written words. That is if you decide to do so within 7 minutes of sending a message. The popular chat app with over one billion active user on Friday rolled out a Delete for Everyone aka recall message feature to its users. By Saturday night most users in India had got the feature.
The Delete for Everyone feature was launched on Friday but it came to India on Saturday. The feature allows you to recall any sent message within 7 minutes of sending it.
How does Delete for Everyone work?
The recall or Delete for Everyone feature shows up under the same old Delete button appearing at the top of the screen. This is that bin icon, on the right of the exclamation mark in the chat screen.
To access the feature, simply tap and long press the message you want to delete. Now go to Delete button on the top and select Delete for Everyone out of three options that are shown. The message will be deleted from user’s and receiver’s chat window replaced with “This message was deleted” in your chat window.
It is important to note that you can only delete messages for everyone for up to seven minutes after sending. Once seven minutes have passed, you cannot recall the message you sent.
The feature is available on all supported versions of WhatsApp and both sender and receiver should be on the supported version to access the feature.
Is the Delete for Everyone useful?
Now, this is a million dollar question. Or a question that may end up saving your relationship one day. WhatsApp says that this feature is useful if you sent a message to the wrong chat or if the message you send contains a mistake. True. The feature does save you from the embarrassment of sending grammatically wrong messages or if you’ve mistakenly send a message to the wrong chat.
But there are riders attached to the way this feature works
Messages will still be delivered in real-time, if there is connectivity in the phone. This means that even if you recall a message or revoke one after 5 minutes of sending it, it is possible that the person to who you sent the message may have already read it. Although if the read receipts is enabled for the chat, you will be able to know whether the message was read or not.
Similarly, if the message was read it is also possible that it was screenshoted. Or in other words the person already made a copy of your message before you deleted it or recalled it.
What happens if both sender and receiver are chatting with their chat window open. In this case, it may not possible to delete a message before the receiver sees it.
You will not be notified if your delete for everyone was unsuccessful. This means that you may live with the idea that your message was deleted and recalled whereas in reality it is not.
The feature will not erase the proof of your wrong text. The deleted message is replaced by “This message was deleted for everyone” meaning that your recipient may enquire to you about the deleted text.