For a while now, WhatsApp users have been reading about the ability to recall messages, but this feature has remained in the beta channel forever. But this is no more.
In a new update that should be rolling out to all users of WhatsApp, the feature is now leaving the beta channel and into the stable version, which means all users of the app can now take advantage of it. With this feature, you will be able to remove messages you sent from a conversation not only from your end but also from the recipient’s phone.
Yes, you read that right! Assuming you accidentally sent a message to your boss, it’ll now be possible to delete the message from their phones so that they don’t get a chance to read it. This should also help those who send messages full of typos or maybe you simply regret something you said a moment ago.
But there are a few catches
While this new feature suddenly makes WhatsApp an even better app, there are three caveats that come with the feature. For starters, you must delete the message within a window of 7 minutes after sending it. If you miss this window, it won’t be possible to delete the message from your friend’s phone.
It’s still possible to delete the message from the recipient’s phone even after they’ve read it, but this would only affect their ability to search the content at a later time or maybe share it via a screenshot – because it will be missing. The third and perhaps one that needs a tweak is that the sender will not be notified of what happened on the recipient’s end once they submit the recall request. This means that you can’t be sure if the message was indeed deleted from the device or not.
How it works
So far, the feature is already live for those using WhatsApp beta v2.17.399 and above, but not everyone has it activated just yet (I’m currently on v2.17.400 and I don’t have the feature yet). When it comes your way, it’ll be easy to use it. Unlike the usual way where selecting a message to delete only gives you two options of “Cancel” and “Delete”, the latest update splits the latter into two – “Delete for me” and “Delete for everyone.”
Once the message is deleted, you’ll see a “You deleted this message” on your phone while the recipient will see a “This message was deleted” on their end. As long as your mobile phone version has this feature, you should be able to enjoy it on WhatsApp Web as well.