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Is Whatsapp’s “Blue Tick” Function A Good Thing?

Is Whatsapp’s “Blue Tick” Function A Good Thing?

In 2014, I studied abroad in Brazil, where I learned, among many other things, that outside of the US, Whatsapp dominates the virtual-messaging world.

When I first started using the app, it worked like this: when you send a message, one small check mark appeared in the bottom corner, meaning the message had been sent successfully. Eventually, one check would turn to two, meaning that the message had been successfully received. However, there was no way to know if someone had seen your message, unless you saw them “online” when you sent the message.

Then, one day, I logged into Facebook and saw the status of one of my friends “Well Whatsapp, it was fun while it lasted, but if you need me, I’ll be using SMS from now on.”

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I didn’t understand what he was talking about until I opened the app and sent him a message. I watched him appear online, and then, the two checks in the corners of my successfully delivered message turned blue.

Oh shit, I mouthed. Whastapp had implemented read receipts.

How Does It Work?

The sequence of check marks can be easily explained by the photo below.

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Checkmarks

    What’s more, if you slide your finger from right to left over a sent message, you can see the time of delivery, as well as the time that the message was read.

    Pros and Cons

    For weeks after the blue check function was implemented, people joked that their relationships would soon fall apart, and altogether became much more preoccupied with who was reading their messages and when. Blue, check-marked messages with no response became motives for squabbles: why didn’t you respond when you read it? You’re not prioritizing me? What were you doing?

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    On the other hand, though, the blue check function worked to bring piece of mind.

    I used to spend hours wondering if my double-checked message had actually been read, or if my message notification was sitting somewhere on an unseen screen in a duffle bag in a gym locker room. At least with the blue check functions, I knew with certainty when the message I had sent was seen by the recipient. Additionally, blue-checked messages that lingered for days without a response became a clear signal: this person doesn’t want to talk to you. No more making excuses about a lost phone.

    Another con of the blue check function is the stress caused for those who truly are busy, but want to open a message to read it without worrying about hurting the sender’s feelings. The anxiety of opening a message without having time to respond, knowing that the sender may later follow up to inquire as to why you haven’t messaged back yet, can really weigh on people. The alternative, leaving the message unread, can cause stress for the receiver as they ponder what information the message holds.

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    Can I Turn It Off?

    While many users have finally adjusted to the Whatsapp read receipts, there are many who still wish to de-activate the function. For Android users, this process is as simple as accessing Whatsapp’s Settings menu. Navigate to Privacy Settings and un-check the box titled Read Receipts. Voice messages will still display blue when played, and group messages will still be displayed as read.

    disable-read-receipts-blue-check-marks-whatsapp.w654

      For iPhone users, this process is more complicated. The process includes jail-breaking your device, followed by downloading an app that will turn off the read receipts. More detailed explanations of this process and the read receipt disabling app instructions can be found here.

      In Conclusion

      It’s been almost a year since Whatsapp rolled out this feature, and contrary to how I felt the day I first watched two check marks turn blue, the world has not yet ended. After the initial stress of constantly checking back on messages to see if they had been read, and fishing for explanations when responses took a long time, this function eventually allowed me more peace of mind and clarity in relationships.

      For many, however, read receipts continue to cause stress. My advice? Date someone with an Android.

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

      Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

      Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

      In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

      1. ScheduleOnce

        ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

        ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

        ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

        Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

        Available on Web

        2. Calendly

          Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

          You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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          Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

          3. Assistant.to

            For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

            From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

            While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

            Available on Web

            4. Acuityscheduling

              Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

              It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

              Available on Web | iOS | Android

              5. Pick

                Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                Available on Web

                6. X.ai

                  For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                  This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                  Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                  Available on Web

                  7. YouCanBook.me

                    is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                    They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                    Available on Web

                    8. Doodle

                      Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                      It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                      You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                      While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                      Available on Web | iOS | Android

                      9. WhenAvailable

                        WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                        Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                        Available on Web

                        10. Rally

                          Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                          Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                          Available on Web

                          11. NeedtoMeet

                            Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                            NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                            While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                            Available on Web

                            Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                            In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                            To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                            Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                            A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                            Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                            If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                            Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                            With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                            The Bottom Line

                            Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                            Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                            Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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