Read receipts is a built-in feature in all mobile instant messaging applications. The number of mobile instant messaging applications users is steadily increasing as a result of increasing the number of smartphone owners. This study investigated people's desire of using the read receipts based on the nature of the relationship between the sender and receiver. The research classifies relationships as strong and weak ties. An online survey was conducted, in which the majority of the participants were Middle Eastern. The survey investigated two factors that affect people's desire of using the read receipts feature, the social tie with the sender or receiver, and their role in the messaging loop, as a sender or receiver.

The study found that people have the awareness of the existence of read receipts feature, but they might not know the purpose of it. The influence of the social tie factor was proven as well as the influence of the role in the messaging loop. The results show that people willing to receive the read receipts regardless the social ties. However, they don’t mind to send the read receipts to their strong social ties, but they seem more willing to use the feature freely in the romantic relationship more than the friendship. They are more welcome to receive the read receipts than send them to their close friends. In the weak social ties, the study doesn't answer the question of people's willingness to send the read receipts. The researcher considers the effect of the culture on people’s opinions, but because the gap between the numbers of the participants from the Middle East and the other regions, the study don’t have a valuable contribution to this aspect.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Instant messaging--Social aspects; Mobile communication systems--Social aspects

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Human-Computer Interaction (MS)


Michael Yacci

Advisor/Committee Member

Deborah LaBelle

Advisor/Committee Member

James Leone


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TK5105.73 .A54 2015


RIT – Main Campus

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