After deleting CEO Mark Zuckerberg's messages from several recipients' inboxes without any intimation in April this year, Facebook faced a lot of backlash from users across regions regarding transparency. To soothe people's anger, Facebook had then confirmed that it will roll out an 'Unsend Message' feature to all users in the future, and now the company has finally introduced it in Messenger. The feature was leaked in screenshots last month indicating its imminent arrival in the instant messaging chat app.
The new Unsend feature is rolling out for all users in Poland, Bolivia, Colombia, and Lithuania on Messenger for Android and iOS users both. A Facebook spokesperson tells TechCrunch that it looks to roll it out worldwide as soon as possible. This 'Remove for Everyone' feature will enable users to delete any kind of message within 10 minutes of sending it. This includes text, group chats, videos, and photos. After 10 minutes, you cannot use the 'Remove for Everyone' feature, but you can use the 'Remove for you' feature which will only delete messages from your end, and not the recipients end.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook's PR manager Kat Chui explains that the social giant will keep a private copy of the message for a short while after it's deleted to make sure it can review if it's reported for harassment. To use the Unsend feature, long press the message you want to delete. Options to 'Remove for Everyone' and Remove for You' will pop-up on your screen. Selecting any of them will display a warning that reads, 'You'll permanently remove this message for all chat members. They can see that you removed a message and still report it." Once you read the warning and confirm, the message will get deleted, and a tombstone message will replace it that will now read, 'You removed a message'.
Users can also report a removed message by tapping on the person's name > tapping on Somethings Wrong > and selecting the proper category for report abuse. Facebook's head of Messenger Stan Chudnovsky explains why the 10 minute deadline was put in place. "We looked at how the existing delete functionality works. It turns out that when people are deleting messages because it's a mistake or they sent something they didn't want to send, it's under a minute. We decided to extend it to 10, but decided we didn't need to do more," Chudnovsky told the publication.
He also says that the feature rolled out to the common public isn't the same as it is for the executives of the company. Notably, the tombstone message didn't show up for users when Zuckerberg's messages were deleted from several accounts.