You can now edit that regrettable WhatsApp message – with one caveat

A 3D printed Whatsapp logo is placed on the keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Meta, has launched a feature allowing users to edit a message – as long as they do so within 15 minutes of sending it.

The company, which says it has more than 2 billion users in 180 countries, announced Monday that the editing feature had been rolled out for some users and will be available to everyone in the next few weeks. Tweaked messages will feature an “edited” label, similar to the one used in other communication platforms like Slack.

“From correcting a simple misspelling to adding extra context to a message, we’re excited to bring you more control over your chats,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

The new feature may come as a relief to anyone who has experienced the dread of pressing “send” too quickly on a message with an unfortunate typo or later regretted the wording of a message sent in the heat of the moment.

Under the new policy, WhatsApp users will be able to edit messages by pressing on them and selecting the “edit” option in the drop-down menu. End-to-end encryption – a privacy feature WhatsApp is known for – will be unaffected, the company said.

WhatsApp users already have options if they are unhappy about a particular message. They can delete messages within about two days of sending them. When they do so, the message is replaced by a gray box with the words “This message was deleted.” They can also send another message correcting typos or adding context, for instance.

The move comes as Meta was fined a record $1.3 billion by the European Union for violating the bloc’s privacy laws. The company said it plans to appeal.

Other social media companies have also been experimenting with message editing. Last year, Twitter gave subscribers to its Twitter Blue service the ability to edit tweets up to five times within 30 minutes of posting them, and users of the messaging app Telegram can already edit their messages.



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