Slack Read Receipts

Slack Read Receipts

Do you know what’s one of the most requested features of Slack? 

It is Slack read receipts.

Back in 2014, Slack responded to a tweet saying that they are working on read receipts. 

During a follow up in 2018, Slack responded back to the topic around read receipt. 

It seems like Slack has read receipts on its roadmap and is still working on it. 

But fast forward to 2020, we still have no Slack read receipts. 

Well. sort of! 

For a short interval between, 2017-2019, we had an unofficial Slack read receipt tool called

The tool no longer works now either. But it supported read receipts on both: Private messages and messages on channels. 

But Slack users didn’t like the idea of someone being able to access read receipts and service now no longer exists. 

Slack read receipts have challenges 

There are no engineering challenges behind this feature that’s keeping it from getting into our hands. The real reason is the user experience. Once this feature is out, Slack users would be forced to: 

  1. Feel obliged once you read someone’s message 
  2. If you don’t reply after reading someone’s message, the sender might assume you’re ignoring them

Slack read receipts could actually destroy asynchronous communication as we know it by forcing Slack users to reply as soon as they read a message. 

But there’s a counter-argument for Slack read receipts to exist as well. Slack users want to know if someone they messaged actually saw their message or not. Confirmation of a message that carried critical information might just be that argument which is still keeping this feature on Slack’s product team’s radar. 

In a very recent conversation, Slack again reassured that the feature is on their “radar”.

But till Slack rolls out a read receipt, you have this amazing solution. Basically, all you do is ask your teammates on Slack to react with a 👀 to indicate that they have read the message.