MESSAGING APP WhatsApp has released an update to its Android app that includes an option to disable the much-criticised read receipts feature.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp ticked off seemingly its entire user base with the rollout of a read receipts feature which displayed a second tick when a message had been read, and allowed users to see the exact time that it was looked it by long-pressing on a message.
Following much criticism from people who moaned that the feature was likely to “ruin friendships”, WhatsApp has made a U-turn in allowing it to be switched off.
Only those using WhatsApp for Android can disable the feature thus far, and the ability has yet to rollout to the iOS, BlackBerry or Windows Phone apps.
WhatsApp has not confirmed when the option will arrive on other operating systems, but reports claim that it will be “coming soon”.
Android users can switch the feature off by heading to Settings > Privacy, followed by unchecking the tick box next to ‘Read Receipts’.
Once done,WhatsApp will no longer show other people when you read their messages, and will also stop you seeing the blue checkmarks for all your conversations.
However, in the Settings menu the firm notes that “read receipts are always sent for group chats”, so users won’t be able to completely escape the feature.
In a separate report via Android Police, WhatsApp’s latest app update also adds support for heads-up notifications on Android 5.0 Lollipop, and introduces redesigned profiles.
WhatsApp for Android is available to download for free from the WhatsApp website, before it arrives on Google Play.-U