WhatsApp has announced the rollout of its much-anticipated message editing feature. This announcement was confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
WhatsApp users can now modify their messages within a 15-minute window after sending them. To edit a message, users simply need to press and hold on the message and select the ‘Edit’ option from the contextual menu that appears. After making the necessary changes, the edited message will display an ‘Edited’ tag next to the timestamp, making it clear that the message has been altered. Importantly, the application will not retain any correction history, meaning that other users will not be able to view previous versions of the edited messages.
This new feature is expected to give users more control over their chats, allowing them to correct misspellings or add more context to a message within 15 minutes of sending it. However, if a message is older than 15 minutes, it can no longer be edited.
Before the introduction of this feature, WhatsApp users had to either delete a message entirely or send a correction in a separate message. Last year, the platform increased the time limit to delete a message from 48 hours to 60 hours. The message editing feature, though, will help users avoid sending correction messages that may potentially confuse the recipient and create unnecessary notifications. It’s worth mentioning that when a message is deleted, it doesn’t completely disappear from the conversation but is replaced with a greyed-out note stating, “This message was deleted”.
WhatsApp’s competitors, including Telegram and Signal, have long offered the ability to edit messages. Apple also introduced the ability to edit and unsend messages sent via iMessage with iOS 16. Twitter introduced the edit button for its paid users last year. While WhatsApp’s 15-minute window to modify a message isn’t as generous as Telegram’s 48-hour window, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has stated that the feature is already being rolled out to users and will be available to everyone globally in the coming weeks.
The process of editing a WhatsApp message is simple and user-friendly:
- Open the WhatsApp application and navigate to the message you wish to edit. Remember, you have a 15-minute limit from the time it was sent to make edits.
- Long press on the message. A contextual menu with different options will appear.
- Select the ‘Edit’ option, which appears next to a pencil icon.
- Rewrite the message and save the changes once it’s ready.
- The tag ‘Edited’ should now appear at the bottom of the WhatsApp message, next to the time it was last modified.
Rest assured, all the changes made to WhatsApp messages will maintain the same end-to-end encryption that the platform has been using for some time. This ensures that users’ data is not being used by third parties without their consent or that of Meta.