Excellent news, everyone: the future is finally here. No longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of immediately regretting a Facebook message you sent with no way out except to just stare at the stupid message and try to will it to come back to you with your eyeballs. Now you will be able to unsend Facebook messages, according to The Verge.
The new feature has actually been in the works for a while — after it was discovered that Mr. Mark Zucks himself had the ability to unsend messages last year. "It’s similar to the power that CEO Mark Zuckerberg infamously has to delete messages he’s sent, as we first found out last April, after multiple sources noted that messages they received from the CEO had mysteriously disappeared," The Verge explains. "When questioned, Facebook confirmed Zuckerberg’s messages expired over time, citing increased security measures after the 2014 Sony Pictures email hacks." But people were not happy about it. "After people found out that Zuckerberg (and, presumably, other executives) could delete messages but the average user couldn’t, they called out Facebook for providing preferential treatment to higher-ups."
Which makes sense, because if you know that the power to delete exists then it definitely doesn't seem fair if only your boss can use it — and, on a more personal note, you'd want to try to use it to save yourself from foot-in-mouth disease immediately, right? So as soon as this was made public, Facebook announced that it was developing an “unsend” feature for everyone — and nine months later, that feature has arrived to make Messenger a better place.
How does it work? Well, you have 10 minutes after you send a message to "unsend" it. Within those 10 minutes, you'll see a "Remove for Everyone" option and a "Remove for You". Unfortunately, even if you use the "Remove for Everyone" option, it doesn't disappear completely — it's replaced with a notification that you've removed, so the other people within the message will know you deleted something. Still, it's better than having the shame of your typo staring you right in the face for all eternity. On another note, it's great that Facebook illustrated the new feature with a bunch of screenshots of someone accidentally sending a totally innocuous message about dinner that was meant for their partner to a group of friends instead — the function will never be used so purely in the real world. Ever. It will be reserved for the deeply cringe-worthy and totally inappropriate. Exclusively.
You should be able to start using the new feature right away. Facebook told The Verge that it should be functional on the latest Messenger app version, whether you use iOS or Android. Whether or not it will save you from the embarrassment of messaging your ex at two in the morning and then deleting it — well, only time will tell.
Though the rumors have been flying for several months, it's so good to see that the "unsend" feature has finally arrived to save us from ourselves. There are a lot of different reasons you might want to "unsend" a message on Facebook — maybe you sent an ill-advised, drunken message to an ex or maybe you realized that the Nigerian Prince may not actually need your bank details. Either way, you now have 10 minutes to make a change. Even though the fact that other people can see when you've removed a message still does open you up to potential embarrassment, it's definitely an improvement. I'll take it.