If you’re like me, you don’t want people to know when you read their messages. One of the reason could be the freedom to decide when to answer messages without making people upset or feel like they’re ignored. Sometimes you need to do research, don’t have time to answer immediately or you’re just not in the right mood to communicate.
It’s possible to disable read receipts in private messages for normal messages but not for voicemails. I don’t know if this is intentional or just a bug but it sucks.
A good thing is, that I found a way to bypass the way WhatsApp sends these read or played receipts.
Step 1: Create a new group with someone
Step 2: Remove the person you needed to make the group
Step 3: Forward all voicemails you get to the group
When playing the voicemails in the group WhatsApp is unable to let the original sender know when you played the voicemail and the status keeps unplayed in the original chat.
I think that’s a great way to improve privacy and feel less forced to answer messages immediately.
This also works in group chats but only for the status ‘played’. There is currently no way (without rooting your Android phone) to disable read receipts in group chats.