WhatsApp Extends Period to Unsend Messages to Two Days

Filipe Espósito, writing for 9to5Mac:

The change in the option to delete sent messages was announced by WhatsApp itself on its Twitter profile. According to the company, users will now have two days to decide to unsend a message in a private or group chat.

More specifically, WhatsApp users will have two days and 12 hours to delete a message after sending it. Previously, this limit was only one hour, eight minutes, and 16 seconds — that was specific.

The old limit was arbitrary, but not exactly random. 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 16 seconds is 4,096 seconds — 212.

Interestingly, while WhatsApp is increasing the time users have to delete a message, Apple is going in the opposite direction with iMessage. In the first beta versions of iOS 16, users had 15 minutes to unsend a message. Now with the latest betas, this limit has been reduced to only two minutes.

The feature has been quite controversial as some users believe that options to edit and unsend messages can be used for malicious purposes.

This makes me wonder whether fears about unsending with iMessage are overblown. WhatsApp is the most popular messaging service in the world, and they’re expanding the grace period for unsending. Perhaps Apple will loosen this period over time, too?

Tuesday, 9 August 2022