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What are read receipts?

A read receipt is a visual cue that informs the message sender that the recipient has opened and read their message.

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This feature appears in the message interface as a timestamp of when the recipient reads a message in a specific channel. The visual cue is only visible to the message sender, though users may turn off read receipts if they prefer.

Read receipts increase transparency and engagement

Read receipts allow users to see when a message has been received and acknowledged. They work together with delivery receipts to add a feeling of certainty to the messaging experience, which helps to sustain engagement.

Use cases for read receipts

  • In-app chat: Users appreciate being able to see that their messages have been seen by recipients. This sense of certainty helps to promote future engagement.

  • Operations: Businesses rely on read receipts in collaborative tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams to inform teams when their messages have been viewed, ensuring task acknowledgment and accountability.

  • Customer support: Read receipts show support agents when their message has been viewed by customers, helping with the management of support queues and response times.

  • Marketplaces: Seller platforms use read receipts to confirm that customers have read important confirmation emails or promotional messages.

  • Education: Learning platforms offer read receipts as a way for instructors to know when students have access to course material or assignments.

  • Telemedicine: Read receipts confirm that patients have seen important health information, prescriptions, or appointment reminders.

  • Financial services: Read receipts confirm for banks and FinTech apps when clients have seen and acknowledged account statements, transaction alters, or investment advice.

Read receipts are a valuable way to improve the transparency of communications. This feature is available in the SDKs (software development kits) and UI (user interface) kits provided by Sendbird and other leading in-app communications platforms. These kits allow developers to quickly build and customize the read receipts feature to their project, without coding from scratch.

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