Facebook to Roll Out Unsend Feature, That Will Let Users Retract Sent Messages

Facebook to Roll Out Unsend Feature, That Will Let Users Retract Sent Messages
Highlights
  • The feature rollout has been confirmed by Facebook
  • It comes in the wake of Mark Zuckerberg's scanda
  • Instagram, WhatsApp have similar features

Facebook has not had a great past few weeks, with its latest misfortunes triggered by the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal that broke out recently. Fuel was added to the fire this week, as Facebook confirmed it had deleted CEO Mark Zuckerberg's messages from several recipients' inboxes on Facebook. Facebook has now confirmed it is planning to roll out an 'Unsend' button that will offer similar functionality to all users on the platform. Facebook will, until it rolls out this button, not delete any further messages that Mark Zuckerberg has sent.

The social networking giant is turning the Zuckerberg message deleting incident into a beta testing opportunity for the new Unsend button, reports TechCrunch. A Facebook spokesperson in a statement to the publication to apologised for not extending the Unsend feature to all Facebook users. "We have discussed this feature several times. And people using our secret message feature in the encrypted version of Messenger have the ability to set a timer - and have their messages automatically deleted. We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives' messages. We should have done this sooner - and we're sorry that we did not," said Facebook to TechCrunch.

Facebook Messenger currently offers a Secret chat feature wherein messages can be timed to self-destruct with durations ranging from 5 seconds up to 1 day. With the new feature, however, Facebook states that the process hasn't yet been finalised. The social media giant claims it could offer self-destructing messages similar to Secret chat.

TechCrunch cites a Facebook Messenger spokesperson who says the only possible implementation would be an expiration timer similar to the Secret chat feature, deleting messages after the timer expires. This is who the deletion of Zuckerberg's messages was achieved. The report adds, "Facebook didn't have details about whether recipients would be notified when a message was unsent and retracted from their inboxes, whether the feature would apply retroactively to old messages sent before the launch or whether users would need to designate a message as expiring/ unsendable before they send it."

Additionally, other Facebook services also offer two different variations of the Unsend option. WhatsApp offers users with the ability to delete messages for a limited amount of time after the message has been sent. The message, however, will be replaced with this text - "Your message has been deleted". On the other hand, Instagram offers users with the ability to complete unsend a DM (Direct Message) provided the recipient has not read the message or its push notification.

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