New Facebook Messenger “Seen by X” indicator : Confidence vs. Privacy ?

Interesting the new Facebook move in favour of displaying whether or not you’ve seen the incoming message wihtin Facebook Messenger… Facebook Messenger is following Blackberry Messenger, BBM, in the disclosure of personal information with its well-known indicator “Message has been read”. I remind you that BBM is displaying 3 status : “Sent” (from app) , “Delivered” (to app) and “Read” (by the app… thus the user).

Remember the “old time” of Instant Messaging – I wouldn’t say this because I’m still using and selling it – we were talking about “Available”, “Not available”, “Away”, “Do not disturb”. After using these online status presence, we asked all IM users to type by themselves their own custom status message and ended up by proposing to hide this status presence and status message. Why ? Simple because, by selecting theses statuses, I was revealing some privacy info and moreover I was spending too much time to parameter an info that ended not to be really crucial to my receivers. That was the end of the use of online status presence and status message in favour of hidding everything… Too long, too complex!

Today the sole important information that needs to be disclosed to the receiver(s) is “Sent and Delievred”. The rest belongs to the category of personal info I do not really want to disclose. At ProcessOne, we’ve developed another way of showing indicators within our messaging over IP service, TextOne : only when a message is not delivered or a message delivery has not been confirmed, the mobile app shows a red or blue icon respectively.

Amazing no that the VentureBeat is writing “Sure, you may sacrifice a little privacy in favor of better conversations, but the exchanges are with people you presumably like, so maybe more information is better”. Guess what I’m messaging with other people than my close friends, my family… I’m messaging with my clients even sometimes my prospects (that would like to test our TextOne messaging service). So I really don’t want to share that I read or even seen his/her message… but it’s not the case with my peers and friends but not Facebook friends (some of them I do not even know who they are!).

Like other privacy settings, location for instance, you would be able to customize this “Seen by X” in Facebook Messenger. Otherwise, you would chat with a bunch of people known or not, and without knowing it, you would be disclosing some kind of interest by revealing that you’re reading and seeing messages.

What do you think ? What is your standpoint on this privacy-disclosing feature ?

In an effort to eradicate some of the challenges associated with text-based communication, Facebook has today updated the iOS and Android versions of Messenger, the social network’s cross-platform messaging-only app.
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Credits: Facebook Messenger by Dekuwa

  • Gogetta943

    well isnt that fucking gay

  • http://www.olivernewthgraphics.com/ Oliver

    I cannot help but think this is a pretty invasive feature! I think it’s perfectly normal to leave a message until a better time to reply to, though now it’s going to be perceived as that person ignoring the other…
    This move is only going to push me away from the platform.

  • Stenver Jerkku

    I agree. This setting needs to have a disabled option

  • Rmed19

    This option should be disabled

  • Robin

    This new feature is absolutely ridiculous, and in fact it makes me a bit angry.

  • ytechie

    My friend wrote this article. 
    http://macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/jonedelstein/2012/05/29/facebook-privacy-concerns-skyrocket-once-again-with-new-seen-chat-feature/

    Until I read it, I did not realize the implications of this new feature. If Facebook would give us a simple toggle: “Seen” or “No Seen”

    Simple, but until people begin to complain, Facebook probably won’t add an option.

  • Charlie746

    I hate this new feature! They at least need to supply an option to disable it, because I’ve already had people who I would rather not reply to straight away get annoyed at me for ignoring them because they can now see when I’ve read the message.