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WhatsApp finally extends time limit to remove embarrassing messages

Tom Fenton

Published 
| Last updated 

WhatsApp finally extends time limit to remove embarrassing messages

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

WhatsApp is set to roll out a feature which will grant users a 60-hour window to delete a message they have already sent to someone.

It marks a big change for the Meta owned app, which previously only gave users 1 hour and 8 minutes to unsend a message - something which was first introduced back in 2017.

The tweak comes after Apple announced similar capabilities earlier this year for its own popular instant messaging app - iMessage.

The change will be welcomed by iPhone users, who only have 15 minutes to quickly delete the sent message.

Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

More impressively, however, iPhone owners will also have 15 minutes to edit messages if they wish, a feature which remains absent from WhatsApp.

“Rethinking your message? Now you’ll have a little over 2 days to delete your messages from your chats after you hit send,” WhatsApp tweeted out on Tuesday.

The time limit for taking messages back is now two days and 12 hours - or 60 hours to be exact.

The way in which a message can be deleted remains the same as it always did.

Just as before, the person on the other end will receive a 'this message has been deleted' notification in place of what was previously there.

WhatsApp's new direction comes in the wake of increased competition in the form of other instant messaging apps like Telegram.

Credit: mundissima / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: mundissima / Alamy Stock Photo

Soaring in popularity over the past few years, Telegram doesn't place any time limit on when a message can be deleted, a move which brings its own set of unique issues.

Much like iMessage, editing is also a cornerstone feature of the app, something which WhatsApp steadfastly refuses to incorporate at this stage.

Telegram poked fun at their instant messaging rivals in a Tweet earlier this year, pointing out how long the edit button has existed on their app.


Other intriguing changes announced by WhatsApp today include the new ability for users to silently leave groups.

When people leave group chats at present, the entire chat is notified instantly, potentially drawing unwanted attention in the process.

Form here on in, the company claims that only administrators will receive a notification.

Further to this, in his post announcing the new updates, Mark Zuckerberg, chief of WhatsApp's parent company Meta, also outlined a number of new safety features.


"We'll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations," he stated in Tuesday's announcement.

One such feature aimed at doing exactly that is giving users the ability to limit who can see they're 'online' when using the app. Previously, this was not able to be modified.

Topics: WhatsApp, Social Media, World News, Facebook, Technology

Tom Fenton
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