The honor of having one of the most misinterpreted features in the world of tech startups goes to Whatsapp – specifically, the check marks that appear next to any message sent. Many initially guessed that two check marks meant that the recipient has already read the message, but that turned out to be incorrect.
Here’s what those check marks really mean: one tick to show that the message has reached Whatsapp’s servers, another to inform the user that it has reached the recipient’s phone. Now, there’s a third layer of information in the form of blue check marks, indicating that the recipient has indeed read the message.
In the interest of privacy, Whatsapp had not so long ago introduced the option to hide the ‘last seen’ notification that informs the other party when that person was last on the messaging platform. The introduction of the blue check marks is strange, given that this brings back the social pressure to reply – what many users consider an intrusion of privacy.
Thankfully, someone has found a workaround to circumvent this new feature. Rahul Banker, head of India’s Google Developers Group, revealed the method on his blog.
Here it is. When you receive a Whatsapp message, don’t open it first. Instead, switch off your internet and wifi connections, then open Whatsapp and read the message. Close the app, reconnect to your data or wifi, and voila! the check marks remain grey.
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