Telegram is upping the ante on privacy by giving users more control over the conversations they have on the platform. Which means you can now delete any and all messages you’ve sent or received from both your device and the other person’s device.
In January 2017, Telegram introduced its Unsend feature. This enabled you to delete messages you’d sent within the first 48 hours. Other messaging apps have since followed suit, with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both allowing you to delete sent messages.
How Telegram’s Unsend Anything Works
Now, Telegram is going one step further. With the latest update of the Telegram app for Android and iOS, Telegram has enabled what it calls “Unsend Anything”. Which, as the name suggests, lets you unsend (AKA delete) any message you have ever sent.
You can also delete any message you have ever received, and this removes it from both sides of the chat. In other words, the message(s) you choose to delete from the conversation will disappear for everyone involved without a trace.
Introducing a new kind of private communication: unsend any message, anonymized forwarding and more https://t.co/hVt3SgQrcu
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) March 24, 2019
There’s also the nuclear option to delete any private chat entirely. And if you do so, it will disappear from both your device and the other person’s device. They won’t be notified, and there will be no note to indicate a conversation ever took place.
While Unsend Anything is the headline feature of this latest update, Telegram has also introduced Anonymous Forwarding, a Settings Search, new search options for emojis, and GIFs, and new accessibility features. For more information, see the Telegram Blog.
Unsend Anything Creates New Problems
While Unsend Anything will help those in fear of being shamed for old messages, it might create new problems. People could selectively edit conversations or delete abusive messages. And with no record they ever existed, it’s one person’s word against another.
The problem is where to draw the line. It could be argued that Telegram has gone too far here, creating new problems in the process. But when people are being shamed online for something they said in jest 10 years ago, it feels like a necessary step.