Web wanders: WhatsApp blues?

Web wanders: WhatsApp blues?

If there's one thing you can count on seeing people do over the Internet time and again, it's to overreact.

And, of course, it was no different when WhatsApp introduced a new feature to its messaging service this week: the appearance of two blue ticks.

For those who have yet to discover this nifty little feature, basically what it does is that it enables you to tell whether the recipient of your message has already read what you've sent them via WhatsApp.

This feature now works for both individual as well as group chats, and is an improvement of what the app previously had to offer.

In the past, WhatsApp used one grey tick to indicate that the message has successfully left your phone and reached its servers, and two ticks to let you know that it has been delivered to the the intended recipient's phone.

Some users would confuse the appearance of these double grey ticks as meaning that a message had been delivered and read by its recipient. This has already led to frustrations and misunderstandings aplenty whenever someone assumes (wrongly, more often than not) that a particular WhatsApp message of theirs had been read but was being ignored on purpose.

(I'm sure most of you would have likely experienced one or two incidents of this nature at some point of time or another. I certainly have.)

Well, there need not be any ambiguity any more now with the presence of these two blue ticks. That should be a good thing, really, but apparently there are many users out there who aren't too keen on this latest development on WhatsApp.

Feigning ignorance

A status update written by a friend of mine summed up perfectly the sentiments that many seemed to have about the topic: "People are fussing over Whatsapp's blue tick because it no longer gives users the capability of ignoring a person and pretending that the message was never received in the first place. Darn, now I have to reply people and say 'I'm ignoring you'."

Some other Facebook friends of mine even went a step further by sharing links to articles that could teach you how to prevent a sender from being updated on when you had read their messages on WhatsApp.

One of the suggestions that I came across was that you should turn off your mobile data and WiFi connections before going into WhatsApp to read your messages. Only once you are done should you get connected to the Internet once more.

The writer of the article claimed that this would ensure the sender would not get the Read status update, adding that he had tried this out when sending a WhatsApp message from an Android device to an iPhone.

In another website catered towards Android users, it was suggested that users could avoid the problem altogether by simply uninstalling the current version of WhatsApp on their phones and replacing it with an older version of the app which doesn't include the new blue ticks functionality.

This same website also informed its readers that it had stored all previous versions of the messaging app and proceeded to give detailed instructions on how users could get this set up on their phones by downloading the APKs (application package files) they had made available.

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed has even compiled a list of comical responses towards this new WhatsApp feature.

While these undoubtedly provide the cyber community with some entertainment and somewhat useful knowledge on workarounds, the more important question to ask here is why is there all this fuss and paranoia over the Read status of WhatsApp messages in the first place.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.