Beware: Facebook Messenger Reveals Locations, Introduces Read Confirmations

Martin Brinkmann
May 5, 2012
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook

Facebook is currently rolling out an update for its Facebook Messenger apps for iOS and Android, that is bringing new features to the clients that will surely cause some controversy. One of the new features are read confirmations, that Facebook users see right underneath messages that have have sent out to friends or groups.  While this may sound like a great idea, as you will now get confirmations if a friend or members of a group have read the message, it may also make the privacy alarm bells go off in the head of some users, who prefer not to reveal those information to the sender.

facebook read confirmations

The screenshot above highlights the second major change as well: Facebook Messenger reveals the location of the sender if the location feature has been enabled by the Facebook user. With geo-location enabled, friends and groups now see the location a message was sent from.

According to Techcrunch, the update will first arrive for mobiles, meaning Facebook's Messenger apps, and then later on to the web interface as well. It is not clear yet if there will be an option to disable read receipts in the options. If that will be the case, Facebook users will find the option most likely under their privacy settings in the preferences.

Closing Words

There are two sides to the new features that Facebook introduces with the update. They first can be useful in some respect, for instance to get confirmation that another friend has received the message that you will be late to a meeting. But since it is enabled for all friends, some Facebook users may also see this as a creepy way of revealing information that they would not want to reveal to all friends.

One could now argue that you should not add someone to the friend list that you are not comfortable with in first place, but this is not always as easy as it sounds. Would you really decline a friendship request of a co-worker or company CEO?


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  1. ashton said on March 7, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Please take permission from us at facebook™© before publishing any derogatory post on us. Else legal action will be taken.

  2. Todd Schnitt said on May 7, 2012 at 5:11 am

    “it may also make the privacy alarm bells go off in the head of some users”

    Really? Hasn’t any FB user with even a modicum of concern for their privacy long been scared off by now? Never even opened an account myself. If you use FB and keep waiting and fighting for them to do the right thing re: privacy, then the nicest word I can think of to describe your situation is “futile”.

  3. acr said on May 6, 2012 at 4:00 am

    What are some good Facebook app alternatives for Android? I’ve been using my Opera browser and it is ok but I don’t get any notifications. As bad as Facebook is, the whole thing reminds me a lot of how AOL ruled the web 10-15 years ago.

  4. smaragdus said on May 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    As Facebook gets more and more obsessive and showing no respect to users’ privacy, it seems there is only one solution for me- to delete my Facebook account.

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