WhatsApp has finally publicly enabled a feature that allows you to delete specific messages sent to either a group or an individual chat.
And, no, it’s not the type of deleting where you only remove the message for yourself (which doesn’t do much to relieve the shame of a poorly thought out declaration) — this function actually deletes the message for everyone.
The other user or users in the chat can still see that something was sent, but the message will read ‘This message was deleted.’ In fact, those who beta tested the feature have revealed that the message even changes to that statement in the Android notification center.
WhatsApp for Android: when the sender deletes the message for everyone, it will be updated in the Notification Center too [AVAILABLE SOON] pic.twitter.com/69fFUrXl35
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) September 12, 2017
The feature’s availability is somewhat ephemeral, though. You only have seven minutes after sending to delete the message, which isn’t quite long enough to sober up but does the provide the ability to take back those message you regret straight away.
Here are the steps:
- Go to the chat where you’ve sent an ill-conceived message, or messages.
- Tap and hold the ill-conceived message(s).
- Tap ‘Delete’ at the top of the screen, then select ‘Delete for everyone.’
It should be noted, however, that there’s another hitch in this new feature for the time being — both you and your friends must have the update. Currently, it appears to be rolling out slowly, so it’s probably better not to rely on this feature just yet.
This becomes less of an issue as the update covers more users, however, and you’ll also be notified if deleting for every user wasn’t successful, so you won’t have to agonize over whether or not you’ve pulled it off.