I can’t believe they’ve been testing all this time.
Let’s get this out of the way first. I don’t use WhatsApp. I refuse to even install it on my BlackBerry. When I hear a story about the app, I have to ask others to test for me, and that is what I had to do today. Needless to say, I was shocked.
WhatsApp is for all intents and purposes, the number one messenger. That is shocking enough to me. A communications app that has as much downtime as it does, should not even be in the top 10 list, much less number one. But people like features, and I know that it has plenty of them. However, there is a feature that it was lacking, that we BBM users have been enjoying for some time. The ability to retract messages. And WhatsApp was finally bringing this feature to their app.
We first reported that this was being tested back in December of last year. Even then, some of the features that we have come to expect from BBM were sorely missed in WhatsApp’s implementation. Messages could be retracted, but only if they hadn’t been read by the recipient yet. That seemed rather odd to me.
Today, nine months after our post on the update, an article came through my newsfeed speaking of this upcoming update. Upcoming? It still isn’t here yet? Yes, I had to confirm with some users, and it seems it is still not available.
Apparently WhatsApp is in the final stages of what must be the longest testing possible of a new feature. Servers are ready, but not yet turned on. And what of the limitation I spoke of earlier? Has that been fixed? No. No it hasn’t. It’s even worse than we originally reported.
Messages can still be retracted, as long as the other user has not read it yet. But there is also a timed limitation. Users have 5 minutes to delete the message. If the other user has read the message, or you discover your mistake 6 minutes after you sent the message, it is there in perpetuity and there is nothing to do about it.
If you use WhatsApp, well, all I can say is have fun waiting for your feature. I’ll be over on BBM where the feature has been for years, and where it works the way it should.