Facebook prototypes Unsend 6 months after Zuckerberg retracted messages

In April, TechCrunch broke the news that some of Mark Zuckerberg's messages on Facebook were removed from recipients' inboxes in what some considered a breach of the user's trust and abuse of power from Facebook Messenger does not have a Cancel button. The next morning, Facebook suddenly announced that it would actually build this Dispatch functionality for everyone. But six months went by without looking at the feature, which raised suspicions that the announcement that it would launch a "Send" button was nothing more than a PR response to the scandal, even if Facebook was just taking the time to discover the correct way to build it. .

At the end of last week, TechCrunch asked Facebook about its progress at Unsend before six months, and the company told us "Although we have nothing to announce today, we have previously confirmed that we intend to send a feature like this, and we're still planning to do it. "

Now we take a look at the feature thanks to TechCrunch's favorite tipster Jane Manchun Wong . He managed to generate screen captures of a prototype of the "Send" button of the Facebook code of Facebook Messenger. Other Facebook prototypes discovered by Wong, such as the control panel of their activity, Instagram video calls and music stickers, and more features have received the official releases.

Currently, you can only delete messages from your own inbox. The inbox of the recipients. But with this prototype send function, you can delete a message from both sides of a conversation. However, the code indicates that in the current prototype there is a "time limit". That may mean that users will only have a certain amount of time after sending a message to cancel their sending. Basically, that would be an editing window in which users could retrieve what they said.

In response, a spokesperson confirmed that "Facebook tests the products and functions internally before sending them to the public so that we can guarantee the quality of the experience."

The "Send" function could be useful for people who say something stupid or inappropriate, reveal a secret that they should not have or want to erase the evidence of their crimes, that could make users feel more comfortable speaking freely in the application, since they know they can retract their texts: Snapchat's messages self-destruct unless a user purposely stores them in the thread, allowing more spontaneous conversations.

However, Unsend can also open vectors for abuse, since users can harass to people through Messenger and then remove the evidence, Facebook will have to make sure that Unsend does not accidentally become a weapon for the thugs. This could mean allowing users to deactivate the possibility of their conversation partners sending a Forward thread by thread message, and / or a report button specifically to mark messages that have already been removed.

The Facebook acquisition on Instagram already allows users Messaging and Snapchat added a shipping option in June. But those chat products are more designed to have fun, discuss memes and share photos with close friends. Messenger has positioned itself as a central communications utility for the world. Playing with the permanence of the messages could make you feel less trustworthy or truthful for some users. When we speak in person, our conversations are not written in stone forever … but there is no way to force someone to forget what you said.

[Postscript: Ideally, Facebook builds this similarly to Gmail’s Undo Send option, where you can only use it for a very short period of time after a message is sent, but still actually deliver messages in real time. The real confusion and trouble would come with being able to unsend messages well after they’ve been sent and even read.]