Procurement · 10 April 2018

Facebook to launch a new game-changing feature in Messenger

The social media giant confirmed Zuckerberg and others had access to a secret “unsend” feature.

Social networking giant, Facebook, has proposed to launch a new feature which will let users “unsend” and permanently delete their messages.

This concept was introduced after the news spread of how of the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s, and other top executive’s messages were removed.

Facebook confirmed the retractions and argued it was for the company’s security, following the Sony email hack in 2014. But Facebook had not notified the recipients or the public that it had deleted conversations.

The social networking site had been offering a secret chat feature offering a self-destruct option with durations ranging from five seconds to a day. This feature was only accessible to industry executives, not to regular users.

A spokesperson in a statement to TechCrunch apologized for not extending the “unsend” feature to all users.

“We have discussed this feature several times. And people using our secret message feature in the encrypted version of Messenger have the ability to set a timer – and have their messages automatically deleted.

“We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner – and we’re sorry that we did not,” said a spokesperson.

The news comes after Facebook continues to struggle with the revelation that 87 million users may have had their personal data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting group that worked on the British EU referendum vote and the 2016 US presidential election.

Facebook argued the feature was developed in the emergence of the Sony Pictures hacking scandal in 2014, which revealed sensitive communications amongst top industry executives.

Other Facebook-owned apps such as Whatsapp allows users to erase messages for a limited period after they have been sent, however, the deletion is notified in that chat. Whereas, Instagram lets users unsend direct messages.

The report adds, “Facebook didn’t have details about whether recipients would be notified when a message was unsent and retracted from their inboxes, whether the feature would apply retroactively to old messages sent before the launch or whether users would need to designate a message as expiring or “unsendable” before they send it.”

In regard to future plans of the unsend option, Facebook guaranteed that any new features would comply with the law.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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