Read receipts for Facebook groups PDF Print E-mail

Facebook group users will no longer have to obsess over who has actually seen their posts and who hasn't. A new update now shows exactly who saw the post, and when.

In an official post on the Facebook blog, the social network says: “Starting today, when you visit a group, you can view who's seen each post. This way you can stay updated on the group's activity. For example, in your soccer group you can post the new practise time and then see who got the update.”

Now every post will have a “read receipt” with a count of the number of group members who have seen it, and when the user clicks on this, a full list of the people's names and the time they saw the post will be shown.

Facebook recently introduced read receipts into its messages and chat features, which has been met with mixed responses from Facebook users. Some users have even made their dislike of the feature known via Twitter:

“Stupid Facebook sending read receipts so I can't ignore this stupid chat.”

“Why does Facebook have to send read receipts in messages? Makes Facebook even more lame.”

“Again I say, read receipts on Facebook and text messages are depressing. It's too real.”

Getting creepy?

While the usefulness of read receipts in groups that are centred on organising events and meet-ups is easy to see, in other cases it could be a way of showing which friends are ignoring the posts. The update has also raised some privacy concerns about Facebook treading into “creepy” territory.

TechCrunch's Josh Constine notes that given the recent updates, Facebook may well be considering introducing the read receipt concept to the news feed. While it could be useful for marketers to see what content is resonating with followers, it could be unsettling for the average user.

“In the news feed, though, it could make posting seem more like a conversation where there are cues to tell if someone is listening, rather than feeling like you're talking into a black hole,” says Constine. “On the other hand, news feed read receipts could make publishing feel like a contest, where having more friends and more impressions means you're better than more private people.”

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