WhatsApp now allows users to delete messages sent by mistake

WhatsApp's new feature allows users to delete messages that were sent by mistake.
WhatsApp's new feature allows users to delete messages that were sent by mistake. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Sent the wrong message to your friend by mistake? Popular messaging app WhatsApp now allows users to remedy that.

The new feature applies to everyone in the chat group - provided the message is erased within seven minutes of sending.

Previously, users could delete a message but the recipient would still be able to see it.

According to an update on the WhatsApp website, a successfully deleted message will be replaced with a "This message was deleted" notice in recipients' chats.

WhatsApp said this is "particularly useful if you sent a message to the wrong chat or if the message you sent contains a mistake".

Users have two options when they select a message and click on the trashcan icon: Delete for Everyone or Delete for Me.

Here's how the Delete for Everyone function works:

  • Open WhatsApp and go to the chat containing the message you wish to delete.
  • Tap and hold the message. Optionally, tap more messages to delete multiple messages at once.
  • Tap Delete (trashcan icon) at the top of the screen and select Delete for Everyone.

In order for messages to be successfully deleted for everyone, both the user and recipient must be using the latest version of WhatsApp for Android, iPhone or Windows Phone.

WhatsApp also warned that recipients may see the message before it is deleted, or if the deletion was not successful. Users will be notified if deleting for everyone was not successful.

The app is one of the most popular phone apps used in Singapore. As of the fourth quarter of 2016, statistics portal Statista ranked WhatsApp as the third most popular social network with a 67 per cent penetration rate among social network users.

YouTube and Facebook were ranked first and second respectively.