Messenger apps that tell you when/if a message you sent has been read are a double ended sword; on the one hand, you know your message has been read and you don’t have to send a reminder or worry that the message may not have been seen on time. On the other hand, it makes it exceptionally difficult to ignore a person or delay replying to a message by using the age old excuse, ‘I didn’t see your message’ and this is something WhatsApp users learned the painfully hard way. The company pushed an update to their servers that enabled a ‘seen’ read receipt to appear when a message had been read. The receipt comes in the form of the grey check mark that signals a message has been delivered turning blue when the message has been read. It caught many users unaware and because the change wasn’t an app update, it means for now there is no way to disable it. If you’ve got a jailbroken iPhone though, you can use WhatsApp Read Receipt Disabler. It’s a free Cydia tweak available in the BigBoss repository that, as its name clearly states, stops the read receipts from being sent.
WhatsApp Read Receipt Disabler has no preferences whatsoever. Once installed, anyone who sends you a message on WhatsApp will not be able to tell if you read their message or not.
You might wonder what happens when you are ready to acknowledge that you have indeed read a message and are going to/have already replied to it. The user may wonder why they haven’t received the acknowledgement. The tweak doesn’t say what happens in such a case but you can always pass it off as the read receipt not working for that particular conversation, as is currently the case.
The change, being a server side change, isn’t working for everyone, and for those that it is working for it seems to be selective about conversations. Lets all hope WhatsApps follows up with a new version of the app with a solid solution to block the read receipt from being sent for both iOS and Android users because everyone should have the right to ignore people on messengers.