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.
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.
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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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.