Let me set the scene: it’s 1am. You’ve had exactly thirteen schooners of whatever beer the pub was slinging within the seven dollar price range. What was supposed to be a quiet one after work knocked off has turned into a Sisyphean ordeal. Blearily, you pull out your smartphone, lying in bed still in your clothes, open Facebook Messenger, scroll to your ex of two years and type “miss u.” You hit send. Instantly, you feel a pit of raw despair opening up in your gut as you realise what you have done.
Folks. No longer. Your pals at Facebook – when they’re not lustily scraping your data and selling it wholesale to international crime syndicates – have been working on a coveted ‘unsend’ feature which will let you recall messages you send through the Messenger app.
Now, this isn’t entirely a selfless move. You may have read that there has been a minor controversy among Facebook’s far more major controversies that they have been deleting messages Mark Zuckerberg sent to users from his own account. Users who corresponded directly with Zuck in the past have returned to those old conversations and found Mark’s side of the exchange obliterated.
So Facebook have quickly pivoted and claimed that ability will soon be extended to all users, which may or may not convince you that Zuckerberg was merely a beta tester for a wider unsend feature (hint: it should not convince you in the slightest). Here’s what they told TechCrunch:
We have discussed this feature several times. And people using our secret message feature in the encrypted version of Messenger have the ability to set a timer — and have their messages automatically deleted. We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner — and we’re sorry that we did not.
You’re probably aware that Instagram actually has a similar feature for direct messages, but the proposed Facebook one will work a little differently. Whereas on Instagram you can delete a message and it’ll vanish without a trace it was ever sent, Facebook will replace your thirsty tirade / confession /dick pic with a generic message reading “this message was deleted”.
There’s no indication about when it’s landing, but it’s on the way. Huge news for the drunk texters of the world.