“If I could turn back time

If I could find a way

I’d take back those words that hurt you…”

Cher may have said it best, but it’s been the cry of our Internet-obsessed generation for ages.

You’ve heard it before – “what happens on the Internet, stays on the internet…forever.” Once that message is sent, there’s no going back. Until now.

Facebook announced this month that users are now able to retract previously sent messages in Messenger within a 10-minute window. Email service providers like Gmail and Outlook have had this feature for a while, as well as social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but it looks like Facebook has finally gotten on board. Thank you, Mark Z.

The process is fairly straightforward. After sending a message – and as the regret starts to set in – simply press and hold the text you’d like to delete (or for desktop, click the 3 dots to the left of the message). Click “Remove” and you’ll be presented with an option to “Remove for Everyone” or “Remove for You”. Choosing the first will delete the message for everyone in the group, the second will only remove the message from your feed, but everyone else will still see it.

Before you go deleting all those drunk mistakes from last night, there’s a few things you should know:

  1. Act fast! You’ve only got 10 minutes to delete the message. After that, you’ll only be able to choose the “Remove for You” option.
  2. The evidence remains. Everyone in the conversation will be alerted if you delete a message, so you won’t be able to delete all evidence of your mistake.
  3. Not for Business Manager. Unfortunately, at this time it doesn’t look like this feature is available for Business Pages users. Once you’ve sent that private message to a customer, there’s no going back. But you’re already proofreading that message before you send it…right?!

So, go forth, giveth and taketh away your messages! Delete mistakes with no limited evidence and stop blaming autocorrect for your errors.

For more information on the new Facebook Messenger feature: https://bit.ly/2MQnkye

Written by Michelle Osbourn