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Have you ever messed up on WhatsApp? Soon you’ll be able to edit your sent messages

The company is beta testing this new feature, albeit with some limitations

businesswoman using smartphone
Whatsapp has introduced the ability to edit a sent message on its beta version.Urupong (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
José Mendiola Zuriarrain

Mistakes in WhatsApp can cause really awkward situations. Until now, the only option a sender had was to delete a message that had been sent by mistake or with a typo in it. The problem with deleting a message is that the receiver is informed about it, and the suspicion of what was written may be even worse than the error. WhatsApp knows this, and— through a beta — has leaked an interesting feature: the ability to edit the sent message.

This new functionality was reported by WaBetainfo after being discovered on the latest Android beta version of the app (2.23.10.13). And what exactly does it involve? Once the message has been sent, the sender will have 15 minutes to press and hold on the message and then edit it. The recipient will be aware of the edit, since they will see a stamp in the message, with the text “edited” and the time of the correction; something very similar to what other platforms use, such as Twitter in its paid version.

Limited edition

This new feature is only available on Android for the moment, running the aforementioned version of the beta, although it will soon be available on the iPhone, in the usual roll-out of new features. “During that time, you can edit as many times as you want,” explains Andro4all blog coordinator Christian Collado. These limitations are considered “restrictive” by the expert, since the opportunity to edit messages is limited to a very short period of time.

That is to say, if you mess up — let’s say you send an intimate message to a family member or a co-worker — you will have only half an hour to fix it. Why have a time limitation? Collado warns that indiscriminate and unrestricted editing of messages “could be used for abusive purposes, mainly through malicious manipulation of conversations, to change the content of old messages.” In other words, someone could misrepresent a message they sent two or three days ago, and this could be very dangerous.

The platform, which is part of Meta, lags behind Telegram, which has long allowed the indiscriminate editing of messages — up to two days from sending. However, WhatsApp does not seem to be in a hurry to implement new features, but rather their priority is to implement them by managing their own timelines and making sure that the improvements are being implemented well. And contrary to an established popular belief, WhatsApp is more secure than Telegram — it has message encryption by default.

How can you enjoy this new feature? As mentioned above, you will need to subscribe to the platform’s beta program and, for the moment, be an Android mobile user. In any case, the timing of the new functions roll-out is usually strict: first a beta on one platform, and after some time, it is extended to the other and made official.

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