Messaging app WhatsApp has made a small update with big ramifications as users can now see when their sent messages have been read … and ignored.
With over 500m users, WhatsApp is one of the pre-eminent messaging apps of the moment. In fact, the popularity of messaging apps such as WhatsApp over the more traditional SMS form of text messaging has had a huge impact, with the number of text messages sent seeing a rapid decline.
While messaging apps allow users to easily manage group chats or add a bit more flair to messages with stickers, WhatsApp CEO and co-founder Jan Koum’s focus is on keeping things simple with the motto: “No ads! No games! No gimmicks!”
So, the addition of two blue ticks to let senders know when a message has been read is surely just a simple, helpful new feature and no big deal, right?
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WhatsApp has explained how the new tick system works, where a single grey tick means the message was sent, two grey ticks means it was successfully delivered and two blue ticks means the message was read.
But here’s how users really interpret those blue ticks.
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And one user in particular has perfectly summarised what this means for WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is the opposite of Tinder. It's as if its entire point is to break people up.
— Rohan (@mojorojo) November 6, 2014
For some users, it’s a disaster.
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Don’t understand the backlash? Let’s take a look at how this scenario plays out. Painfully.
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Even if you’re not in a romantic relationship (or trying to be in one), those blue ticks will have you looking at how your friends communicate in a whole different way.
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You’ll question everything.
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And friendships will be ruined.
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It’s not like WhatsApp could be ignorant of the drama caused by letting users know when a sent message has been read by the recipient. When Facebook – which, let’s not forget, now owns WhatsApp – first introduced this feature, users were similarly aghast.
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Sure, it is helpful for overly attached other halves.
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But it can be heartbreaking for others.
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Soon, no matter what messaging service you use, there’ll be no hiding from the truth.
And the circle – encircling you, alone, ignored – is complete.
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