WhatsApp announced on Monday that it will allow users to edit messages for up to 15 minutes after being sent, in a move that will see it match a feature offered by competitors like Telegram and Signal.
The instant-messaging service is part of US technology giant Meta, which also owns Facebook and Instagram.
The feature will be made available to WhatsApp’s 2 billion users in the coming weeks. Whatsapp counts India as its largest market, with 487 million users.
“From correcting a simple misspelling to adding extra context to a message, we’re excited to bring you more control over your chats,” the messaging service said in a blog post.
“All you need to do is long-press on a sent message and choose ‘Edit’ from the menu for up to fifteen minutes after,” it added.
Edited messages will be tagged as “edited”, so recipients are aware that the content has been changed. However, they will not be shown how the message has been tweaked over time.
“As with all personal messages, media and calls, your messages and the edits you make are protected by end-to-end encryption,” WhatsApp added.
Meta founder, Mark Zuckerberg, also posted about the new feature, writing on his Facebook page: “You can now edit your WhatsApp messages up to 15 mins after they’re sent!”
WhatsApp edit messages feature follows Facebook, Twitter
WhatsApp’s announcement came after the feature was offered by messaging services Telegram and Signal.
The edit function was introduced by Facebook almost a decade ago. Around that time, Facebook revealed that more than half of its users accessed the site on mobile phones, which are more prone to typing errors.
On Facebook, updates that are modified are marked as edited. A history of the edits is also available for users to view.
Last year, Elon Musk’s social media platform Twitter said it was giving its paying subscribers the ability to edit their tweets.
Tweets can be edited a few times in the 30 minutes after posting.
“Tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful,” Twitter said in a blog post at the time.
“You should be able to participate in the conversation in a way that makes sense to you and we’ll keep working on ways that make it feel effortless to do just that,” the platform added.
WhatsApp was founded in February 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, former employees of Yahoo! It was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US$19.3 billion.
It became the world’s most popular messaging application by 2015, and had more than 2 billion users worldwide by February 2020.
By 2016, it had become the primary means of Internet communication in regions including Latin America, the Indian subcontinent, and large parts of Europe and Africa.