450 million active users and almost as many misunderstandings: the messaging app Whatsapp uses a misleading method of communicating the status of sent messages.
When a user sends a WhatsApp chat message, initially a small tick is displayed next to the text, followed some time later by second tick.
Many users familiar with the “read” status on Facebook, iMessage and Blackberry’s messaging services assume the second tick shows that their message has been read.
What’s up with the WhatsApp ticks?
It’s a familiar scenario to many users. Your chat partner isn’t responding to your message, even though you clearly see two ticks next to your message.
Hidden in the depths of WhatsApp’s FAQ is the answer: the first tick tells us that the message has been successfully sent to the WhatsApp server. The second simply confirms that the message has been delivered to your chat partner’s phone.
Unlike on Facebook’s messaging system, there’s no way to tell if your WhatsApp message has been read.
How does this happen?
Up to WhatsApp version 2.11.5, when a message is sent to an iPhone, the second tick usually appears once the chat partner’s messenger is started. Subsequent versions already load the message in the background and not just when the program is opened, meaning that both ticks appear almost simultaneously.