Skype May Finally Be Getting A ‘Seen’ Feature


Like any decent modern messaging platform, Skype is finally getting read receipts — or quick notifications that let a user know recipients have seen their messages.

The move is part of Microsoft's radical change-ups for Skype, the ultra-popular communication tool it acquired for billions of dollars in 2011. In recent months, Microsoft has added things such as brightly colored message bubbles, GIFs, emojis, end-to-end encryption, and other "modern" features to keep Skype up with the times.

Read Receipts Finally Arrive On Skype

The latest feature is read receipts, of course, pretty much a standard feature on apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and many others. This is the first time for Skype to get the feature, so it's kind of a big deal for Microsoft. The company is starting off with tests via preview build 8.26.76, and read receipts will be available across all platforms.

Once a user has installed the latest preview build, they'll be able to see when someone has seen their messages and also send read receipts back to other members in a conversation. Just note that for group conversation, read receipts will only work if there are less than 20 members. Also, the user won't receive receipts from people who don't have the latest preview build installed. In other words, it's crucial for other people to have the latest Skype. Otherwise, the feature will essentially be useless.

Read receipts on conversations with multiple members look similar to Facebook, in that mini circular profile icons appear on the bottom of a certain message, which indicate those users have read all the messages above.

Yes, Skype does offer the option to turn read receipts off entirely, so don't worry about privacy. It's also possible to temporarily disable sending read receipts by going Invisible, but it works both ways — in the same way recipients won't be able to determine if the user has seen their messages, the user also won't know if other people have seen his or her own messages or not. That seems like a fair tradeoff, given that it's similar to how read receipts on WhatsApp work, and for that matter, other messaging platforms.

Will Read Receipts On Skype Be Rolled Out More Widely?

Assuming the test goes well, Microsoft should roll it out to all users in a more stable form at a later date. It's about time Skype joined the read receipts club, even if it means being quicker to reply to other people to make sure their feelings aren't hurt by you ignoring them. That's just the bane of modern communication, of course — hyperawareness. Back then, people just had to wait for a person to reply. Now, it's easy to find out if a person is deliberately trying to drag it out.

Thoughts on read receipts on Skype? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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