WhatsApp earlier increased the deadline for when a user can apply the ‘Delete for everyone’ feature in a group or private message. While the limit for revoking a message was originally 8 minutes and 32 seconds, WhatsApp has now extended this to 1 hour, 8 minutes and 16 seconds. The feature was spotted in Android beta and has also been rolled out for iOS and Windows versions of the app.
The extended time for deleting messages was working for us on Android beta, but not on the iOS version of WhatsApp. It also appears that WhatsApp is planning to improve its ‘Delete for Everyone’ with a new feature called ‘Block Revoke Request.’ This new feature will work in the background to curb use of modified versions of the app, which allowed some users to delete messages sent as long as three years back.
According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp’s ‘Block revoke request’ feature will quietly add some protection to prevent misuse of the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature. The “Block revoke request,” ensures that the feature will now check if the message saved in the database is less than 24 hours old when applying this request. The post points out that this will make sure no one can illegally delete messages older than 24 hours for everyone.
Currently if a ‘Delete for everyone’ request feature is sent out, then WhatsApp just matches the request ID to the message ID, and then deletes if a match was found. In new versions of the app, the messaging service will limit the revoke request to 24 hours, and WhatsApp’s algorithms will also check the date of the message along with the ID before applying ‘Delete for everyone’.
As the report points out, one of the problems is that if the phone is switched off during the time the ‘Delete for Everyone’ request is sent out, and remains so for the next 24 hours, then the request will be considered invalid and the message will continue to remain on the group or chat, even if it was deleted for others. It has also been pointed out that if someone replies to a message in a group, and the same is later deleted for everyone, the message continues to show on the group.