WhatsApp introduces ‘seen’ feature

Posted on November 7, 2014


A popular online chatting app has created a way for its users to know when somebody has read their message.

WhatsApp already allows the sender to see when a message has been received with two green ticks, but now, the check marks will turn blue once it has been opened.

Although possibly set up by the company as a way of allowing nervous chatters to know that their important messages have definitely been read, some are concerned that the “stress-free chat” software is becoming a little more formal. Writing in the Independent, Max Benwell noted that it would now be harder to ignore unwanted conversations due to social conventions, with users potentially forced to respond when not quite ready.

At the moment, the new feature is being described as optional, but some commentators believe that it may become a more permanent fixture of WhatsApp. This is especially the case considering that Facebook bought the app for $19bn (£12bn) earlier this year, and its ‘seen’ tag on private messages has been commonplace since 2012.

Rather than using a more traditional news feed – which has become a firm go-to page on other social platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook – the WhatsApp network revolves around messaging. This means that any change to the service may have a big impact on user numbers, especially if it is viewed in a negative light.

While Facebook has declared that it currently has no plans in the near future to monetise WhatsApp, such fixtures would make the service easier to analyse for businesses, if it changed its mind.

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