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Google Undo Send: A chance to save face... or your job

Google's announced a new feature for Gmail users: Undo Send. Once enabled, the feature gives you up to 30 seconds to recall an email that you've sent.

GoogleUndoSendIt's not hard to imagine circumstances where you might find this helpful, indispensable, or career salvaging:

  • You sent a message to a copy list and only intended to send to one recipient.
  • You sent a message in anger and regret having even composed the message the moment you sent it.
  • You sent a photo that you realize is potentially embarrassing for you or the company, you work for.
  • You send a message to the wrong intended recipient or wish to avoid death by autocompletion.

I'm certain you can add to this list. 

I love the service. I think it's particularly useful for organizations that use Gmail and are thoughtful about mis-delivered mail that contains sensitive information. The problem I foresee is simple:

30 seconds is a relatively short amount of time to reflect upon and react to stupid or hasty, and for some, it's perhaps too short a cool down period once angered.

I suspect that Google's seeking to find a sweet spot for recall that balances Gmail user delivery expectations (mail should arrive almost instantaneously) against resources.  

Perhaps I'm an outlier among Gmail users, but I'd really like at least a full minute of reflection or cool down. But generally, kudos to Google for the feature.



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