WhatsApp has a simple tick-based system to explain the status of messages you send over it. But even the simplest system is hard to follow if an app doesn’t explain how it works, so here’s a quick summary.
What does one tick in WhatsApp mean?
There are actually three different statuses for WhatsApp messages:
- One grey tick means your message has been successfully sent
- Two grey ticks mean your message has been both sent from your phone and received at the other
- When the grey ticks turn blue, it means that your recipient has read the message. At this point you can get angry when they don’t reply.
How does the tick system work for WhatsApp group chats?
For group chats, it actually works exactly the same way as it does above – except that the ticks only change once the status applies to everybody in the group. In other words, if nine out of ten people in a group have read your message, then the ticks still won’t turn blue.
If you’re thinking that sounds a bit silly, I agree with you. Fortunately, for group messages there’s a way of fine-tuning this. Highlight the message with a long press, select the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen and press info: it will show you exactly who has read the message and who hasn’t.
How do I turn off read receipts?
If you don’t like the idea of people being able to see when you’ve read their messages, you can opt out of this – though doing so will stop you from seeing other people’s read receipts, which seems fair enough really.
If you decide that your privacy is worth that price, then it’s dead easy to do. Open WhatsApp, go to Settings via the three dots in the top right-hand corner, then press Account, Privacy and switch Read receipts to “off”.