WhatsApp message check marks: What they mean

I remember having an argument with a contributor to MOBILITY blog many months ago over what the check marks in WhatsApp messages mean. Regardless of what I said, she insisted that a single check mark meant that a message had been delivered to the recipient and a double check mark meant that it had been read by same. In exasperation, I finally gave up and let her be.

At another time, I also ran into issues with a girlfriend who flared up because I didn’t respond to her WhatsApp messages. According to her, I was reading the messages but not responding. Coming from a BlackBerry background, she insisted that the double check marks meant that I had read the messages. I gave up on her too. I give up a lot; right? Yeah; last time I checked, life as short…

WhatsApp Delivery Notifications

Anyway, here is what those WhatsApp message check marks really mean:

  1. Single check mark – this means your message was successfully delivered to the WhatsApp server.
  2. Double check mark – this means your message was successfully delivered to the phone of your chat partner.

WhatsApp does not indicate that the message you sent was read; just that it was delivered. Also, that your contact appears as online does not mean that he or she has read your messages either. If your contact has the app open but the phone is lying on the desk idle, they would appear online to you and you would be wrong to think that they have seen your message.

Back to the meat of this article, Doubting Thomases can check out this direct FAQ link to the WhatsApp website:What are those check marks next to my messages?. Now you know.



  1. I thought as much, cos I’ve had to on countless tyms b blamed or do d blaming for ignoring whatsapp msgs.U jus cleared d air..

  2. Thanks Mr. Mo. for this. It’s amazing I didn’t actually know this before now though I’ve pondered on it. And I’m actually very quick to “do a Google” as a question crosses my mind.

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