Facebook announced that it will soon be making the unsend feature a part of its Messenger app. The unsend feature allows users to retract a message from a conversation with another user without leaving a trace of what was said.
The feature was announced after it was revealed that the company had deleted Mark Zuckerberg's messages sent on Messenger.
Facebook's newest feature for Messenger comes at a time when another controversy could be brewing for Facebook. TechCrunch reported that Facebook had removed messages from Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives at the company that was sent on Messenger. It said that the reason for doing this was the Sony Pictures email hack in 2014.
Facebook proceeded to apologize for another misstep and then announced that it would be making the feature available for everyone. It explained that during this time, while it is working on the unsend feature, it will not be deleting the messages of any of its executives.
According to Facebook, this feature will be activated in the next few months but didn't explain how it would work on Messenger. Currently, Messenger offers a service that is similar to the unsend feature.
Users can select the Secret Conversation mode. In this mode, they can set a time on when the message will self-destruct. Before the timer expires, everybody in the conversation is notified when the conversation will be deleted.
WhatsApp And Instagram
Messenger's new feature to unsend messages is nothing new in the messaging world or even for messaging apps owned by the company. WhatsApp and Instagram both have the ability to unsend messages from users.
Users on WhatsApp are allowed to unsend their message after a short period. Users on both ends are alerted that a message has been deleted by including the note "this message was deleted."
In Instagram, the unsend feature works differently. Users can unsend the message at any time by holding down the message and selecting the unsend button. The ones on the other end are not notified. The messages disappear completely from the conversation.
There are also other apps that offer the ability to unsend messages. Signal allows users to send disappearing messages if users turn on the Disappearing Messages option. Telegram lets users turn on the self-destructing messages option.
There is also Confide, which stands in a league of its own in this category. While messages that are sent automatically self-destruct, it also provides ScreenShield technology that prevents users from screenshotting messages. When users attempt to screenshot a message, a blank white screen appears in photos.
Facebook previously revealed that it is scanning links and photos sent on Messenger.