It’s been 23 years since I first used a private messaging service, and 16 years since I first built my own. The number of electronic private conversations I’ve had over those years is enormous. I am certain this is also the case for you.
Over the last 10-20 years, each of us exchanged millions of messages with thousands of people. Most of those communication logs are stored somewhere in other people’s inboxes, outside of our reach. Relationships start and end, but messaging histories with ex-friends and ex-colleagues remain available forever.
It’s getting worse. Within the next few decades, the volume of our private data stored by our chat partners will easily quadruple.
An old message you already forgot about can be taken out of context and used against you decades later. A hasty text you sent to a girlfriend in school can come haunt you in 2030 when you decide to run for mayor. We have to admit: Despite all of our progress in encryption and privacy, we have very little actual control of our data. We can’t go back in time and erase things for other people.
Well, we couldn’t. Until today. Starting today, we are allowing every Telegram user to delete any message
in a private conversation from both sides. It doesn’t matter who sent the message and when – you have complete control over it. You can even wipe out the whole conversation from both sides if you want to. No trace will be left on either side.
We know some people may get concerned about the potential misuse of this feature or about the permanence of their chat histories. We thought carefully through those issues, but we think the benefit of having control over your own digital footprint should be paramount.
Looking through my Telegram inbox now, there’s not much I would want to delete for both sides. And yet, for the first time in 23 years of private messaging, I feel truly free and in control.