Instant messaging giant WhatsApp has finally announced the introduction of its new message editing feature, one that users have eagerly been waiting for. The feature allows users to modify messages within 15 minutes of sending them. To do so, they will need to press and hold on the message, tap on the ‘edit’ option, and make any changes they want. The app will subsequently indicate an “edited” tag beside the timestamp, but there will be no revision history of the message.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature in a Facebook post, indicating that WhatsApp is committed to providing users with more control and flexibility over their chats. Previously, users could only delete messages or send a separate correction, but now, they can correct spelling mistakes or add more context to a message within 15 minutes of its sending. Last year, the deletion period for messages was increased from two days to 60 hours.

WhatsApp’s competitors, including Telegram and Signal, already offer message editing options, and Apple has recently introduced this feature with iOS 16 for iMessage. Though WhatsApp’s feature offers a shorter time window compared to Telegram’s 48-hour limit, it still improves the user experience.

The new editing feature can avoid confusion between correspondents, unlike sending corrections, which can often create unnecessary notifications. Deleting an entire message from earlier conversations may lead to confusion, so an edited message will appear with an indication that it has been modified after being sent.

Although a minor feature, the message editing option has been a much-needed addition to WhatsApp, making users’ lives easier and more efficient by providing enhanced control over their chats. The updated version is currently rolling out to users and is expected to be generally available in a few weeks.

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