Below each post within a group will be a check mark followed by the number of people who have seen the post. Hovering over or clicking on that note will present a list of group members who saw the post and when. After all users in the group have seen the post, the post will say “seen by everyone.” The feature is available on desktop and mobile versions of groups. Although it hasn’t gone live for us yet, Facebook says this will begin rolling out today.
This is similar to what Facebook now does in its mobile Messenger app to let users know their message has been received, but when applied to larger groups, some users might be uncomfortable with this because they feel it reveals too much about their activity on the site. Overall, the feature is useful for groups of people who are collaborating on a project, scheduling plans or sharing other important updates. Facebook provides the example of a soccer team using groups and the new “seen” feature to make sure everyone knows about what time practice starts.
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine says Facebook wouldn’t discuss whether it was considering adding the feature to posts users make outside of groups. He notes that implementing this in News Feed or Timeline might be going too far and make people feel self-conscious about what they browse on the social network. For now it seems Facebook will limit this to groups and private messages. Perhaps in the future, group admins could have control over whether posts display information about who has seen them.
Facebook didn’t provide details about what it means for a post to be “seen,” and whether it involves a user visiting the group page or having the story load in News Feed. The Help Center tells users to “keep in mind that if people see a group post or message, it doesn’t always mean they had the chance to read it carefully.”