WhatsApp message recall could be a life-saver

WhatsApp users are spotting a new feature that hasn't officially been announced yet, but that has appeared on the service's FAQ page. The feature has been a popular request and gives users a way to recall — that is, to delete — a message they sent (hopefully) before the other person sees it. This is a life-saver if you accidentally send the wrong message or, in a moment of inebriation, say something dumb.

Though there's no post on the WhatsApp blog officially announcing the feature, an explanation about it has appeared on the company's FAQ page, explaining that users can use this new feature to "delete specific messages you have sent to either a group or an individual chat." The message doesn't disappear without a trace, though.

According to the FAQ page, the other user or group will see a message saying that a message was deleted. If you want to delete the message for everyone, you only have seven minutes to do so; once the first seven minutes after sending the message are up, you won't be able to delete it for everyone. There are also some requirements.

First things first, the message can only be deleted if both the sender and the recipient(s) are using the latest version of WhatsApp for either Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone. As well, WhatsApp warns that you won't get a notification if the 'delete for everyone' feature failed to work, so be sure to double-check.

As well, it is possible someone could see the message before you were able to delete it, and so you must move quickly if you decide it was best not to send the content. To delete these messages, open the chat with the message that's to be deleted, then tap and hold that message. In the menu that appears, choose 'Delete' > 'Delete for Everyone.' You also have the option of deleting messages just for yourself to clear them off your chat log — this won't get rid of them for others, though.