Facebook will soon let everyone unsend messages, just like Zuckerberg

facebook messenger 2017 android

Private messages from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are disappearing mysteriously from Facebook Messenger inboxes — and soon, you’re going to be able to do exactly the same thing with your friends.

If you’re a user of Facebook Messenger, then you might be aware that while you can delete the messages that you send, that only removes the message from your copy of the conversation — anyone else in the conversation is still able to see it, whether that be a one-on-one or group conversation. Following the uproar around these deletions, Facebook has stated that it is developing an “unsend” option in Messenger, and that it will be available in a few months. Until that time, Facebook has also said it will not be deleting any more executive personal messages.

While Zuckerberg himself declined to comment on the situation, a Facebook representative clarified that the deletions concerned corporate security: “After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”

Essentially, Facebook appears to have put a retention timer on the messages of some executive members of staff, deleting them from the system after a certain amount of time has passed. Facebook security justification does stand up to scrutiny on the subject, as a standard message deletion would only remove the message from the sender’s account, and hackers could potentially access the inbox of the recipient in order to read the message and potentially make off with Facebook’s secrets.

While it’s certainly within Facebook’s rights to protect its corporate interests, this revelation comes at the wrong time for Zuckerberg’s company. The treatment, or mistreatment, of user data has been an issue on Facebook for a long time, but it has been recently thrown back into public attention by the actions of Cambridge Analytica, a company that is accused of abusing Facebook’s data to alter the public’s perceptions on key issues. In response, Facebook has altered the way it allows apps to gather data, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for various governments around the world, with many having launched investigations of the service.

Key to the issue is the control that Facebook has over the messages sent between users. While Facebook’s service is clearly under its own control, questions of user trust naturally arise when data is altered without user knowledge. With data becoming the currency of the new age, these questions will remain a central focus of public debate for some time yet.

Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Looking for flexible and inexpensive phone service? Check out our favorite MVNOs

Looking to switch from a major carrier to something a little more affordable? Luckily, there are a ton of great MVNO options to choose from. Check out our guide to the best MVNOs, from Boost Mobile to Google Fi.

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.