Bottom line: Great news for people who take their phones with them on nights out: Facebook Messenger’s long-talked-about unsend feature is almost here. The bad news is that you’ll only get 10 minutes after sending a message to delete it.
Back in April, with Facebook still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company came under fire after it was discovered to be unsending messages sent from company executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, to other users. The social network said this was to "protect [their] executives’ communications" following the Sony Pictures email hack in 2014.
In addition to saying it would no longer be deleting execs' messages, Facebook said the unsend feature would be rolling out to all users at a later date.
Evidence that an unsend option was getting closer arrived last month when renowned leaker Jane Manchun Wong revealed it being used in the Android app.
As noted by The Verge, the release notes for version 191.0 of Messenger’s iOS client list the unsend feature as “coming soon.”
Other messaging services, including Facebook’s own WhatsApp, have the same option, though it gives users an hour to delete any embarrassing/drunken/threatening communications. The Messenger version only allows you ten minutes, which isn’t much time to question whether contacting your ex was such a good idea. Still, it’s better than having nothing at all.
If you know the terror of waking up with a hangover before discovering who you messaged the night before, the best option would probably be to leave your handset at home—or at least get a cheap feature phone that won’t get you into as much trouble.