A few months ago, a report detailed a WhatsApp feature that let users revoke their sent messages from the recipient’s device. It seems like after being in an extensive development phase, that update is finally rolling out to the public. The new feature essentially allows you to recall the sent messages within a time span of seven minutes. That particular text will be deleted from the receiver as well as your phone if, of course, both of you are connected to the internet.
How to Use WhatsApp’s new ‘Delete for Everyone’ Feature
WhatsApp calls the feature ‘Delete for Everyone’ and it’s located under the delete messages options. Whenever you tap the trash icon after selecting a text, the corresponding alert will now have two entries — ‘Delete for Everyone’ and ‘Delete for Me’. The latter only removes the entry from your end. In a chat, the message will be removed and swaps with a note which says “You Deleted this message for everyone”.
While everyone will eventually receive the update, the rollout seems exceedingly gradual at the moment and is available only in a couple of regions. All three major platforms including Windows Mobile, Android, and iOS are supported. You may try to reinstall WhatsApp from scratch but according to a few users, that doesn’t seem to do the trick just yet. It’s worth mentioning here that WhatsApp itself has not announced this feature.
Furthermore, ‘Delete for Everyone’ also is not limited to just text messages. It works with images, videos, GIFs, voice clips, files, you get the idea. Interestingly, WhatsApp even updates the notification on the recipient’s phone with a placeholder like ‘This message was deleted‘. On iOS, however, the entire notification is revoked.
There are a few limitations you should know about. One, the feature currently doesn’t work for quoted messages. Second, broadcast messages are also not supported as of now. Moreover, both the phones should be running the latest version of WhatsApp.
How WhatsApp’s ‘Delete for Everyone’ Feature Works
WhatsApp achieves this functionality by sending out a replica of the particular message to the recipient. As soon as the person receives it, WhatsApp checks the unique ID of the message in the database and performs the necessary actions including eliminating the data from its database.
The report I mentioned earlier also revealed an editing feature for sent messages. Hence, it is possible WhatsApp might release that one soon as well.