Facebook’s New Feature Allows You To “Unsend” Messages

Nov 2018

Following Facebook’s option to hold “secret conversations” in Messenger, the platform is now rolling out more changes for chatting with friends.

In October, Facebook began testing its newest notable feature: the unsend button. Facebook Messenger’s most recent update notes state that they will now let their users unsend messages within ten minutes of sending them.


What We Know

Facebook faced a backlash in early 2018 after executives got caught deleting messages between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and friends. At the time of the controversy, the platform announced that all users would be able to use this feature in the future.

To unsend a message, you must tap and hold down the message you sent. Two options will appear: “Remove From Everyone” or “Remove From You”. This lets you decide if you want it removed from both profiles, or just from your own. When a message is removed, a tombstone symbol will replace the message, so the other user will be aware of the change. This new feature only applies to messages you’ve sent and not to messages that you received.


What This Will Do

Many are worried about the negative impacts this feature could potentially hold. The ability to “unsend” a message could open up the door for miscommunication and harassment to happen without the evidence to prove it. Facebook is focusing on the positive effects of this feature though, and will archive messages for a certain amount of time to protect its users.

The update notes state, ”If you accidentally send the wrong photo, incorrect information or message the wrong thread, you can easily correct it by removing the message within ten minutes of sending it.” Facebook wants this to be an opportunity for users to correct mistakes within Messenger.


This feature is not new for the other apps Facebook owns. Instagram already has this ability in their direct messages without any time limit, and WhatsApp users are able to unsend messages within the hour of being sent.


Because the update notes only stated that this feature would be “coming soon”, we don’t know when exactly this feature will be released. But, we can expect it to appear in one of the upcoming updates very soon.


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