Social media users learned last year that Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Zuckerberg had managed to delete his own messages sent through the Messenger app, something that no one else could do.
Facebook users were clearly unimpressed with this and made it perfectly clear that they wanted that very same function made available to them on their personal and business accounts. Finally, Zuckerberg came through.
Before Zuckerberg rolled out the new change in Facebook Messenger, pressing down on a message allowed a user to delete it only from his or her own mailbox. The recipient still had received that message and it remained on Facebook’s servers.
According to Gizmodo, TechCrunch learned that Zuckerberg was able to go back in time to 2010 and unsend messages from his threads that were in his Messenger app and received by various people, both employees and non-employees.
Facebook announced Tuesday that the new unsend option is now available to Android and iOS users by simply tapping a message that needs to be deleted and then select “remove for everyone” within 10 minutes of sending the message.
A representative for Facebook confirmed to Gizmodo that messages deleted with this method eventually will be removed from Facebook’s servers permanently, but would be preserved for a brief period of time in the event someone needs to report abuse or stalking.
Facebook Messenger now gives anyone the option to delete a regretful or mistaken message from their chat history. https://t.co/EWACpsGKgb
— CNBC (@CNBC) February 5, 2019
Facebook had previously allowed not just Zuckerberg but also other executives to utilize this feature. It has taken 10 months for the company to make this option available to everyone using an Android and iOS. Some users reported a “remove for you” option, which removes a message from the sender’s view but leaves it active with everyone else in the chat.
The secret message feature within Messenger does allow users to delete messages, but it is only applicable to individual conversations. Of course, if a message recipient takes a screenshot of a message received, none of these features will matter any.
Needless to say, there were quite a few skeptics commenting on social media. Jeff Costas doubted the effectiveness of this new Facebook Messenger feature.
“I can guarantee you it’s still going to be sitting out there on the Facebook server – basically all of your ‘deletes’ will help FB known which messages they can hold over your head as leverage,” Costas tweeted.
Twitter user Chan Walling wanted it “easier to mass delete items or group posts.” Others suggested disgruntled users simply delete their Facebook accounts.