Facebook has extended its “read receipt” functionality from messages to groups. Previously, messages that had been seen or read were marked with a check. Now, that same check-marking system will work in the Facebook groups interface. When a group member has seen a message, that message will be marked with a check and with the number of people who have viewed it. Hovering over the views will reveal the names of the users who have read it and the time they read it.
Although this feature will improve accountability within groups and streamline communication, eliminating redundancies, these kind of analytics are counter to Facebook’s core anonymity value. Facebook has distinguished itself as a protector of user read-rights, that is, the rights of users to read material without being identified. That’s why you can’t see everyone who has viewed your profile. I wonder whether this very slight value-shift will have larger, later ramifications for other Facebook functionalities.