WhatsApp has made a significant announcement today, unveiling one of the most highly anticipated features—message editing.
In a recent Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg shared the news that users now have the ability to modify their messages within a 15-minute timeframe after sending them. To make edits, simply press and hold on the desired message and select the edit option from the menu. To indicate that a message has been edited, an “edited” tag will be displayed alongside the timestamp. However, it’s important to note that WhatsApp will not retain a history of corrections, meaning other users won’t be able to view previous versions of edited messages.
“We’re thrilled to introduce this new functionality, giving you greater control over your conversations. Whether it’s fixing a typo or providing additional context, you can now tap and hold on a message within 15 minutes of sending it, and select the ‘Edit’ option from the menu,” stated the company in a blog post.
Previously, WhatsApp users were faced with limited options when it came to rectifying mistakes in their messages. They either had to delete the message entirely or send a separate correction. However, last year, the chat app extended the time limit for message deletion from 48 hours to 60 hours.
In comparison to its competitors such as Telegram and Signal, WhatsApp was lagging behind in terms of offering message editing functionality. Telegram and Signal have long provided users with the ability to edit messages. Additionally, with the introduction of iOS 16, Apple incorporated editing and unsending features for messages sent via iMessage. Even Twitter introduced an edit button for its paid users in the previous year. While WhatsApp’s time limit for message modification may not be as extensive as Telegram’s 48-hour window, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Personally, I have often encountered typos in my messages, and having the editing feature will allow me to swiftly correct errors instead of having to send another message. Sending corrections can be confusing for recipients and can result in unnecessary notifications. Moreover, when a message is deleted, it is not completely removed from the conversation but replaced with a faded note stating, “This message was deleted,” which can also cause confusion.
Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has confirmed that the editing feature is currently being rolled out to users and is expected to be available to everyone within a few weeks.