WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service, is testing a new feature that will tell a user when his or her message has been read by the recipient. The app already confirms the delivery of a message by showing two ticks.
If the read receipts don’t seem new to you, you’re probably not alone. Many users have misinterpreted the double check marks next to messages to indicate that a message has been looked at, as so may other platforms offer the feature, but that’s not the case.
In reality, the double check marks simply mean a message has been received by the other user (the single check only tells you the message reached WhatsApp’s servers). The blue coloring adds a third layer of information, as an updated FAQ will confirm.
Alternatively, you can long press on a message to access a ‘Message Info‘ screen, detailing the times when the message was received, read or played.
Of course, one could use ‘last seen’ indicators on the top left of a conversation to know when a contact was last in the app, but the blue checkmarks are more direct. It would have been nice to see this added in as an on opt-out feature though – some users may not be so fond of the additional information.
Finally, and unrelated to today’s update, 9to5Mac also points to some potentially leaked images via dutch site Droidapp.nl showing some icons WhatsApp may be using for its long-rumored VoIP implementation. No word on when we might see the feature added, but it definitely looks to be in the pipeline.
You should start receiving the new read receipts so long as you have the newest version of WhatsApp for Android or iOS.