Remember when WhatsApp turned on its Read Receipts feature last week and caused panic all over the world? Well, the company wants nothing to do with your lover quarrels or business disputes — “He ignored my WhatsApp messages!” isn’t a court-accepted argument, it seems. So to avoid becoming the second largest cause of divorce, WhatsApp is preparing another update to its app that should make the new feature optional.
Version 2.11.444 (which is only available on WhatsApp’s site for now) has a new menu under Settings, Privacy. A checkmark for Read Receipts lets you enable the option or turn it off. In that case, WhatsApp will no longer show other people when you read their messages, but it will also stop you from seeing the blue checkmarks for all of your conversations. That’s WhatsApp’s way of keeping things fair, like it did with the Last Seen status — you can’t lurk in the dark and snoop on other people. Groups chats won’t be affected, other participants will always know when you read a message.
As is customary with WhatsApp, this version is available through the service’s website first. It may hit the Play Store soon or you may have to wait for a few more bug fixes to see it there. We’ve also been told that this version adds heads-up notifications on Android 5.0 Lollipop, but since I only use Whatsapp on my KitKat-running LG G3, I wasn’t able to verify that.