Facebook lets people slide out of DMs with new delete option

New unsend feature for Messenger allows people to retract a message within 10 minutes of sending it

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Facebook Messenger users can delete a message within 10 minutes.
Facebook Messenger users can delete a message within 10 minutes. Credit: Facebook

People can now erase direct messages on Facebook Messenger up to 10 minutes after they are sent as part of a new privacy push at the social network.

The new unsend feature, which was initially developed specifically for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. was released by the company on Tuesday.

Last year, TechCrunch discovered that Zuckerberg had the secret messaging power to unsend communications, and the company said that it would develop a similar feature for all users.

"Have you ever accidentally sent a message to the wrong group of friends, mistyped something, or simply wanted to remove a message in a chat," Facebook said in a blog post on Tuesday. "You're not the only one. Starting today, we are launching a feature where you can easily remove your message on Messenger--whether it's to one person or a group."

Facebook is working on a number of new privacy initiatives, including encrypted messaging on all its apps, because the company is trying to evolve into a more secure platform for communication. Facebook has been in the spotlight for data-sharing and privacy policies going back to its earliest days, which appeared to show a pattern of carelessness with users' personal information.

Zuckerberg has said the company will deliver more privacy-first products. For instance, Facebook is promoting Stories as a private way to share to the social network and its apps, which include Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Stories were taken directly from the Snapchat model of videos that disappear within 24 hours.

"As people increasingly share more privately," Zuckerberg said in a quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts last week, "we're working on making more of our products end-to-end encrypted by default and making more of our products ephemeral so your information doesn't stick around forever."

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