Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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The Blue Tick feature has been more of a sleeping dog waiting for people to discover this rather invasive feature. Even today out of the 600 million WhatsApp users very few know that the Blue Tick really is.
The developers have not been particularly vocal about it so far and unless someone shows what it does the app does not specifically explain how it works, what it means and how it can be found.
What is the Blue Tick feature?
The Blue Tick feature is actually part of a 3 step notification system regarding message delivery, receipt and reading confirmation. Every message sent by a user receives a grey tick when it is sent, a second grey tick when it is delivered to the recipient and two blue ticks when it is read. The Blue Thick feature was pushed via an update for all platforms and it is now live.
Unfortunately people have mixed feelings about it as it provides additional information to the sender regarding the moment it was read. In fact if someone looks at the details of a message that was sent they will be able to see the exact time at which it was read.
Here is the complete list of features of the new Blue Tick function:
- Allows users to see when their messages are read. When the recipient opens WhatsApp and reads the message the sender will now have the option to see the exact time when that happened. Until the moment the message is read it will only be marked with two grey ticks.
- It only works if the WhatsApp client is updated on both the ends. This means if the sender has the newest version while the recipient uses an older one the message will never show the two blue ticks even after it has been read. If the sender uses an old client while the recipient has the newest one he will not be able to see when they were read if he updates the client. He will only see the blue ticks for the messages he sends after the client upgrade was done.
- The message is marked as read only when the user opens WhatsApp and reads the whole message. Looking just at the push notification that contains a small fragment of the message will not trigger the blue ticks.
- It cannot be switched off. There is no in app setting that switches off the blue tick feature. The moment it is activated it becomes active and cannot be removed.
The feature itself is quite straight forward but could cause some privacy concerns and not everyone wants this information to be shared.
On the other hand the Blue Tick feature cannot work if the users do not update their client. In order for it to work both the sender and the recipient need to have the latest version to support the new blue ticks.
There are already several articles describing how to bypass the feature as a means to protect the privacy of the ones that feel it is a bit invasive and do not wish to share such information.
Until then everyone who updated their WhatsApp client started sharing this information without their consent.