That will change soon. It looks like Facebook is set to introduce an unsend option that lets users delete sent messages. However, they can only delete messages on both the sender's and receiver's ends within 10 minutes after sending them.
Facebook Unsend Message Feature
Twitter user Matt Navara spotted the feature listed as "coming soon" in the release notes for version 191.0 of Messenger on iOS.
WhatsApp, by contrast, allows users to unsend messages up to an hour after sending them. Facebook's 10-minute limit is a far cry from the flexibility WhatsApp provides, but it's arguably better than nothing. It's a lot better, as The Verge notes, than having embarrassing messages preserved forever. The reasoning behind the super short time limit remains to be explained. Perhaps Facebook will adjust it accordingly once more people use the feature more frequently.
Why You Need An Unsend Feature
Suppose Facebook is indeed planning to roll out this feature soon, it will be the first time users will have the ability to unsend messages. There has never been an option to scrub a thread clean of embarrassing, shameful, and unfortunate messages. Until now, that is. It's good to see Facebook knows how many relationships or even friendships have been ruined because of accidentally sent messages. All jokes aside, this feature could be useful in a lot of ways, and it's mind-boggling why the company is choosing to roll it out just now.
The unsend feature has been on the cards since April. At the time, it was reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had been quietly deleting messages sent to some users, which then led to people speculating the feature will be rolled out to everyone. The functionality was then spotted for the first time in October during what appeared to be a testing phase.
It's worth noting that this is still very much a rumor, so take everything above with a grain of salt. Facebook has a habit of ditching planned features no matter how long it's been testing them, so take great caution.
Do you think an unsend feature on Facebook would be useful? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!