WhatsApp allows more time for second thoughts. The application is in fact lengthening the useful time within which a repentant user – who does not want to have written certain things, or simply has the wrong recipient – can recall a message sent. So far, the window to backtrack was seven minutes; soon it will be over an hour, 68 minutes and 16 seconds for accuracy (ie 4,096 seconds, which corresponds to 2 to the twelfth).
The lengthening of the times was initially identified on a beta version, not final, of WhatsApp for Android, and reported by the site WABetainfo, known for rumors about the green chat. It is also contained in an update of the iPhone app released yesterday.
The function, introduced last autumn with the 7-minute limit, is called “Delete messages for everyone”. To recall a message from a two-party or group chat – be it a phrase, a photo or a video – just select it and tap the trash symbol, then choose the “delete for all” option. The operation, however, is not 100% safe and leaves traces. The recipient could in fact see the message before the sender cancels it, or read at least the first part of the notifications received on the smartphone. Once a message has been deleted, the recipient also sees the message “This message has been deleted”, even if it does not know what it contained.