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article imageWhatsApp to let you 'revoke' messages you just sent

By James Walker     Feb 1, 2017 in Technology
WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets you "unsend" messages in a conversation. The app's upcoming "revoke" button will allow you to delete messages from your contact's phone, assuming they haven't already seen its contents.
The feature was spotted by Twitter account @WABetaInfo. The account monitors changes in WhatsApp's beta code and charts the development of new capabilities across platforms. The revoke button recently appeared in iOS and Android versions of WhatsApp Beta, prematurely revealing its existence.
Revoke messages
After you've sent a message, you'll be able to use the Revoke button to delete it from your own phone and remove it from the chat your contact sees. It can't be used to completely remove all trace of a message though. The recipient still gets to see a "Sender revoked the message" warning, informing them that you've used the Revoke buttons.
Messages can only be revoked if they haven't already been read by the recipient. WhatsApp chats show when a message has been read by marking it with a blue tick. Once a message has a blue tick next to it, it can no longer be revoked. The capability only supports grey ticks, symbolising messages that the recipient has received but not yet opened.
The new feature could be useful in several common messaging scenarios. Whether hiding an embarrassing spelling slip-up or a poorly worded message, it will help you ensure you don't send low-quality texts on WhatsApp. It may also let you recover from messages you later regret sending, although only if they haven't already been read.
Edit button
To complement Revoke, WhatsApp is also working on an Edit button that'll let you change the contents of messages. Both of the new options appear after long-pressing a message in WhatsApp's Android and iOS apps.
The buttons are disabled in the current WhatsApp beta build but could be activated soon and officially announced. WhatsApp is testing a third new feature too, a Delete button for its Snapchat Stories-rival, Status. Status lets you send ephemeral photos that disappear after 24 hours. The Delete button will let you remove content once it's been uploaded, a small action on its own that helps solidify Status' basic infrastructure.
"Live location tracking"
Finally, WhatsApp is said to be planning something entirely new called "live location tracking." It will allow members of group chats to track your precise location in real time, letting them guide you towards a meeting point or local attraction. Details on the feature are currently light but it appears to be aimed at groups of friends trying to coordinate meet-ups. It will be disabled by default to avoid a potential privacy scare.
There's currently no indication when the new capabilities will arrive officially in WhatsApp Beta. It's also possible WhatsApp is merely experimenting with features that may never make it to public builds. However, editing and deleting messages is a common user request for messaging apps so they're likely to appear in a future release.
More about whatsapp, whatsapp beta, Messaging, Social media
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