There's a certain permanence to most instant messaging apps. The second you hit send, that's it, the message is out of your hands. You better hope you sent it to the right contact, fixed those embarrassing typos, or spelled their name correctly. Unless you're using the latest version of BBM, in which case you can call take backsies.

Now when you send a message by mistake, you can simply tap the retract button. This works both before or after the text has been viewed, so even if you weren't able to prevent your ex from seeing that kissy face emoticon you intended for your new significant other, you can at least strike it from the record. Similarly, you can prevent yourself from accidentally messaging something grossly inappropriate to your boss.

To demonstrate this, here's a guy who probably wouldn't look out of place in an Old Spice commercial.

As mentioned towards the end of the video, you can also set a timer that determines how long other people have access to certain messages and images. The content will not appear until a recipient presses down and holds onto the chat. The message will then disappear after the time limit has expired or they lift their finger up from the screen. BBM can't prevent them from taking a screenshot, but it will shoot you a notification if it detects that one has occurred.

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The new things don't stop there. This update makes picking stickers easier and shows what music your friends are listening to in feeds. And when someone sends you an image, you can request an HD version with more detail. Here's the change log.

What's new:

  • TIMED MESSAGES:  Set how long contacts have access to messages and pictures shared in a chat. See the full description for more information.
  • MESSAGE RETRACTION: ‘Retract’ a message to remove it from your BBM chat. See the full description for more information.
  • A QUICKER STICKER PICKER: Adding stickers to your BBM chats is now even quicker
  • HD PICTURE TRANSFER: It’s easier than ever to get a high quality version of pictures
  • DISCOVER MUSIC: See what music your contacts are listening in Feeds

BBM Introduces New Privacy and Control Features Offering Creative Ways to Chat and Share

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 31, 2014) -

Editors' Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this release.

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced that it has released several new features for BBM™, offering users new ways to chat and share with more privacy and control over their communications.

At the core of the BBM experience is privacy and control. These two notions are more important today than ever before as people are looking for simple ways to help guard against their messages getting into the wrong hands or being seen by anyone other than the intended recipient. New features for BBM introduced today enable users to communicate with more discretion and freedom. Features introduced today include:

  • Timed Messages(i): By setting a timer you can control how long messages and pictures you share with contacts can be viewed within BBM. The message is hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Then, once the timer has expired (or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen), the message is no longer visible. The user also receives a notification if BBM detects that the recipient has taken a screenshot of the image or message.
  • Message Retraction(ii): Users can now retract their message to remove it from their BBM chat before it has been read by the recipient or after it has been read so that it is no longer visible within the BBM chat.
  • High Quality Image Transfer: When a user receives a picture in BBM, they can quickly request an HD version to enjoy the image in full detail.
  • Faster Sticker Selection: It is now easier for users to browse BBM Stickers and quickly add them to their chats.
  • Discover New Music: See what music BBM contacts are listening to and show others what songs you're playing. iPhone users can tap the song and be taken to iTunes for a quick and seamless purchase.

"These new enhancements to BBM were highly requested so we're excited to be delivering them to users today," said John Sims, President Global Enterprise Services at BlackBerry. "These capabilities will allow our users to be more creative in how they deliver their messages while also being confident that their content is kept private and seen only by its intended recipient."

Timed Messages and Message Retraction are premium features that will be available free and without restriction to BBM users over the next three months. After this time, unrestricted access to these features will become part of a broader bundle of features that will be offered as part of a BBM subscription.

Today's announcement underscores the commitment to making BBM a world class privacy-focused instant messaging application. New features are available for download over the next couple of days for BlackBerry 10 smartphones, iPhones and Android smartphones by installing the latest BBM update in BlackBerry World, Apple App Store and Google Play. For more information, visit the Inside BlackBerry Blog and check out new BBM videos on the BlackBerry Youtube Channel.