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Facebook Messenger finally gets an unsend feature

You can now retract messages on Facebook Messenger—but act fast.

On Tuesday, Facebook Messenger finally got an unsend feature. Unfortunately, it only gives you up to 10 minutes to delete the message. Once the time limit passes, you’re out of luck.

The unsend feature works for one-on-one sessions and group chats. To use it, simply tap on the message you want to delete. You’ll notice a new option that says “Remove for Everyone.” Click on it, and you’ll delete the message in question. Facebook will then replace the text with an alert, notifying everyone in the chat the message has been scrubbed.

The feature is handy in the event you mistype something or accidentally send the wrong photo to a friend. But it’s pretty much useless if you drunk message your ex one night and then wake up the next morning realizing you made a horrible mistake.

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In contrast, Facebook-owned WhatsApp gives you one hour to delete a message, while the app Telegram gives you 48 hours to remove a bad text.

So why did Facebook settle on the 10-minute time limit? Most of the times, people actually delete messages within a minute of sending them, the company told PCMag. Extending the time limit longer might also introduce ways to abuse the unsend function as well, the company said, without elaborating. Still, Facebook plans to monitor use of the new feature, and will tweak the time limit if needed.

The company has been promising an unsend feature since last April after Facebook was found mysteriously deleting messages company CEO Mark Zuckerberg had sent on the app. Facebook said it did so for security reasons, but the whole incident raised questions about why normal users didn’t have the same privilege. Now you sort of do. But you won’t be able to recall any messages you’ve sent months or years ago. The best you can do is delete the message from your own chat window.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

Facebook plans to integrate Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. What that means for users

New York (CNN Business)Facebook plans to integrate its messaging platforms, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, according to a report from the New York Times.

The three services would remain separate apps, but their infrastructure behind the scenes would be the same.
Even with minimal changes on the surface, the move could have an impact on the billions of people who use the tools. For example, it could allow the company to build a single user profile from its different apps to better target ads.
The apps could also get end-to-end encryption, which shields messages from being read by people outside of the conversation, according to Facebook.
    "We're working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work."
    Facebook estimates 2.6 billion people total now use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger each month, according to its most recent earnings report. In addition, more than 2 billion people use at least one of these Facebook-owned apps each day on average.
    Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at research firm eMarketer, said data would likely be shared between the apps as a result of the move. That could make it easier for Facebook to track users' activities across its family of apps and target ads more effectively.
    For users, increased data sharing could also mean that information about their activities on WhatsApp will be associated with what they do on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger, she added.
    "If users didn't think Facebook and its messaging apps were all the same company, they will have to confront that reality now," Williamson said. "Knitting the messaging apps together shows that Facebook wants to exert more control over them, and that may lead to more internal executive conflict."
    After being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram remained relatively independent entities. However, both platforms have become increasingly important to the company as Facebook has struggled with fake news, foreign election meddling and privacy scandals.
    WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014, and its CEO and co-founder Jan Koum left the company in May 2018. Koum reportedly decided to resign after disagreeing with Facebook over its approach to personal data and encryption.
    In October, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger left Facebook after reportedly clashing with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of the photo sharing app. Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012.
      Jessica Liu, senior analyst at research firm Forrester, believes the user experience would only change slightly.
      "I'm sure most users won't notice and won't think twice about it," she said. "As it is, you're already getting Facebook friend suggestions in Instagram and you're already getting kicked from Facebook to the Messenger app if you want to talk 'privately' to another Facebook user."

      Fatal beating of metal band bassist captured by Facebook Messenger video, affidavit says

      The fatal beating of a metal band’s bassist was accidentally caught on video by Facebook Messenger on the alleged assailant’s cellphone, according to a Maine state police affidavit.

      A woman, who was not identified, told police the video captured by the phone in Donald Galleck’s shirt pocket showed him punching the victim and pounding his head on a street.

      Galleck, 29, was charged last year with murder in the death of Jason Moody, 40, of Bangor, a bassist who performed with the metal band Seize the Vatican.

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      The affidavit became public Tuesday when Galleck appeared in court to plead not guilty at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, the Bangor Daily News reported. The document had been sealed since his Nov. 16 arrest.

      The woman who saw the video reported it appeared the victim threw the first punch but then apologized.

      The woman said she saw the video when she accepted a call from Galleck through the Facebook Messenger app and later received a video chat request from Galleck that she accepted. Galleck allegedly put the phone in his pocket when he sent the video request and it’s unclear if he was aware it was streaming. It was not immediately clear from the court document whether the Facebook chat was saved or could be retrieved by investigators.

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      Moody was found lying unconscious in November before he was transported to the Northern Light Eastern Main Medical Center where he later died from his injuries on Nov. 13, the Bangor Daily News reported. His cause of death was “massive inflicted trauma to the brain,” the medical examiner said, according to the affidavit.

      The two men allegedly got into an argument after Moody asked Galleck to leave his apartment because Galleck was fighting with Moody’s girlfriend.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.

      Exclusive: U.S. government seeks Facebook help to wiretap Messenger – sources

      The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook Inc to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect’s voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance.


      Read more…

      ‘Messenger of meth’ crashes minivan on South Carolina National Guard property after traffic jam rage, cops say

      The self-proclaimed “messenger of meth” vented his anger at a traffic jam by guiding his minivan into multiple collisions and then wrestling the military police officers who stopped him from breaking into a South Carolina National Guard Armory, cops said.
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