This new feature is perhaps one of the most requested feature on the Facebook-owned instant messaging app, WhatsApp. The ability to delete messages you have already sent; well, the ability to accept or reject being added to a WhatsApp Group is also one of the most requested feature.
The delete sent messages feature will allow you to not only delete the message(s) on your end but also the recipient(s). This feature will be a lifesaver for those embarrassing moments when you found yourself forwarding the wrong (private) message to a WhatsApp Group, and everybody therein started looking at you in a funny way when you meet.
As to just how effective this feature will be, depends entirely on how fast, after sending the message, you delete it. Obviously, the longer you wait the more the chances that the other recipient(s) on the other end will have read the message. If they have read it, deleting the message then will just be doing away with the evidence, but the damage will have already been done. Then again, you never know it the person(s) on the other end did take a screenshot before you got the chance to delete the message.
How to Delete Sent Message on WhatsApp
After sending the message, press and hold on the specific message you would like to delete. When you do so, a pop up will appear giving you the options of ‘Delete’ or ‘Cancel’ like it has always done. Except in the most recent version of WhatsApp, there will be a third option, ‘Delete for everyone’.
If you tap on just ‘Delete’, the message will only be deleted on your end, but if you tap on ‘delete for everyone’, the message will be deleted on your end and also on the end of the recipient(s) in that chat.
The new ‘delete for everyone’ function has one major caveat; you only have a maximum of seven minutes after sending the message to delete the message. If you take longer than seven minutes after sending the message, the ‘delete for everyone’ function will no longer be available forever.
Additionally, the feature only works if the recipient has not seen the message. If they have read the message (blue ticks), it will no longer be available. Lastly, and perhaps a really annoying bit, is that after deleting a message, you will see ‘This message was deleted’ in your Window, and the recipient(s) will also see ‘This message was deleted’ on their end. That way, they will know you deleted something, even though they didn’t get the opportunity to know what exactly you have deleted.
It is however disappointing that WhatsApp has not built a mechanism to let you know if the ‘delete for everyone’ function did not delete the message for all recipients. Say in a WhatsApp Group, where others were online sooner than others and got to see the message before you deleted it.
The new feature is already available to everyone on Android and iOS, but as usual, you expect it to roll out in waves. So it might take a little while before being available to you, but it won’t hurt if you went to your respective store to see if it is available for you.