We’ve all heard of the saying ‘to turn blue’; when someone is confronted by disappointment rejection or embarrassment, blood is drained from their face often resulting in a pale, ‘blue’ expression.

In the case of WhatsApp, the popular Facebook-owned messaging app, the aforementioned metaphor is not the case. WhatsApp is literally turning blue… or at least, the sent/received tick marks anyways.

The app will now light up double tick marks in a luminescent blue shade when a message has been read. This may lead to a huge difference in how users of the popular messaging service stay in touch with friends.

I’m pretty sure most people thought the double tick marks meant that the recipient had read the message. After a few years using WhatsApp, we finally learnt the truth behind those all-knowing ticks.

Let’s clear up some assumed pretenses; previous versions of the app would display the following:

  • A single tick mark if the message was successfully sent to WhatsApp servers, not the recipient.
  • Two tick marks if the message was successfully delivered to the recipient’s device from WhatsApp servers, not whether the recipient had actually read the message or not!

In their most recent update, WhatsApp adds a third layer of information in the form of blue colored double tick marks; which indicate specifically if the recipient has read the message.

Users are also provided with the option to long press a message to access the ‘Message Info’ screen (an encircled ‘i’ at the top of the screen), which details the times of when the message was received, read or played. Group chats and broadcast messages are also affected by this update.

Besides this change, there are also rumors abuzz that WhatsApp will soon be launching its own Voice over IP (VOIP) service, which would let users make assume-ably free telephone calls via Wi-Fi or cellular networks.

Things are looking bright for the 600 million-user strong application.

“I think WhatsApp is going to be the global text messaging platform,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman & CEO of Facebook Inc. “I think we’re going to have an opportunity for WhatsApp to connect 2 or 3 billion people.”