A day to the end of last month (February), disaster struck. What had started as a casual reply to a WhatsApp message before neatly tucking my phone back in my pocket and strolling back to the office after lunch ended up being a big mistake. For some reason or the other, my phone decided that it was much wiser and went ahead to post everything that was in my image gallery as my WhatsApp status, visible to hundreds of my contacts. As if that is not enough, a link I had been reading on my computer before I broke off for lunch was mysteriously pasted to any chat I’d had recently with my WhatsApp contacts as well as on the groups I am in.
I only came to find out what had been happening when I was settled on my desk and, after a momentary glance at the open WhatsApp web tab on the browser on my computer, I noticed that some things weren’t adding up. I hardly ever post anything interesting as my WhatsApp status for it to command the overwhelming responses that I was seeing pouring in. Long story short, I was able to take control of things but it was a little too late for the hundreds of messages that had been sent. I was finding out almost an hour later and there was simply no possible way to delete the messages, more so for those who had yet to read them, but to curl my tail neatly between my legs and issue an apology.
To date, I still wonder what would’ve become of myself had I been the sort to snap themselves naked with reckless abandon or, better yet (sigh), receive the same from other parties. I would be the talk of my small village and not even Olivia Pope would be in a position to help me come out of the image problem I would be having as a result.
Luckily, going forward, that won’t be the problem for everyone who will ever find themselves in circumstances as unfortunate as those that I found myself in on the afternoon of February 27th, 2018. This is because WhatsApp has now extended the amount of time within which one can go back and delete a message from 7 minutes to a 1 hour, 8 minutes and 16 seconds. According to @WABetaInfo, who broke this news a few days ago, the feature is currently limited to the iOS version of the app as a beta though the same should be on the way to our beloved platform, Android, soon.
WhatsApp only started allowing users to revoke messages they had sent last October after an extended period of testing throughout most of last year.
While this latest change is very much welcome, isn’t it about time that WhatsApp went all the way and let us have disappearing messages? It’s what keeps some of us using its competitors like Telegram. Please?