It’s common to send messages we regret and wish could take back, whether it contains a typo or an embarrassing statement. With WhatsApp, users have had the option to delete messages since 2017, but were basically condemned to let them live on the other person’s phone if they waited more than an hour.
The feature first started out with a grace period of just seven minutes before WhatsApp mercifully decided to extent the time limit to just over an hour in 2018. Specifically, the app set the deadline for deletion to one hour, eight minutes, and 16 seconds.
💭 Rethinking your message? Now you’ll have a little over 2 days to delete your messages from your chats after you hit send.
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) August 8, 2022
With the latest version, the Meta subsidiary is amending the grace period once again, as it announced the change on Twitter earlier today. The new time limit now allows users to have “a little over two days” to press that “Delete for Everyone” button, although WhatsApp did not specify the exact duration.
Keep in mind, of course, that the feature won’t help you if recipients take screenshots before you manage to delete the messages. As noted by The Verge, the new two-day duration also won’t work if the other person has not updated their WhatsApp yet and you will not be notified if the deletion did not take.
Speaking of screenshots, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that a new feature will prevent people from screenshotting View Once messages is on its way, although an exact rollout date was not provided. He also confirmed previously reported features that are coming to the app soon, such as leaving groups quietly and a list of past group participants.
While WhatsApp is extending the duration for deleting messages, it is reportedly also working on letting users save disappearing messages, as seen in one of its beta builds. Going the other way, Apple has recently reduced the time limit to unsend messages in its latest iOS 16 beta, from 15 minutes to just two minutes. The new iMessage feature is expected to debut with the upcoming update next month.