By Chris Morris
November 7, 2018

We’ve all experienced the instant regret of sending a Facebook message to the wrong person or wishing we’d worded things better. But once you hit “send,” there’s no retrieving it. That’s all about to change, though.

A line in the newest version of Messenger on Apple’s App store lists the ability to remove messages from a chat thread after they’ve been sent as a “coming soon” feature. You’ll have 10 minutes to delete the message.

“Coming soon: Remove a message from a chat thread after it’s been sent,” the update reads. “If you accidentally send the wrong photo, incorrect information or message the wrong thread, you can easily correct it by removing the message within ten minutes of sending it.”

Facebook started hinting at the functionality since April, when it became public that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quietly using an early version of the feature. The ability to erase messages reportedly was developed after the Sony Corp. data hack in 2014, which exposed a trove of sensitive internal communications. Facebook created a capability that let executives expunge their app messages after a period of time.

The new functionality comes a little over two years after Facebook began testing full encryption on the Messenger app with the “Secret Conversations” feature. Those messages can only be read on one device of the person you’re talking with.

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