Delivering email certainty

2 Mins read

Nobody, especially me, likes to wait for a reply to an important email. Whether it’s to your boss at work, your friend on the other side of the world or your special someone, it’s a frustrating thing waiting days for a reply.

However, all of that could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to Sidekick. The plug-in, created by HubSpot, has ingeniously invented a way for people who regularly use email to record who has read their messages. Not only does it tell you when your email has been read, it gives you a record of how many times it has been opened and on what device it has been opened on.

The app works by sending an invisible image to the recipient and once the image has been downloaded onto their screen, you can be sure they have opened your email. I don’t know about others, but personally if I sent an important email and didn’t receive a reply, I wouldn’t want to know how many times the person has read my email. Ignorance is bliss.

Screen Shot of Sidekick application

Many communication applications have already incorporated a “delivered” and “read” system. Most notably, WhatsApp, who updated their app and added blue arrows to let you know if somebody has read a message you’ve sent them causing people to look for new ways to avoid that awkward conversation. However, email providers such as Microsoft Outlook and others have been doing this already for years. So is Sidekick trying to fill a gap in the email industry that has already been filled?

27 year old Technical Support Analyst and Microsoft specialist Aktar Gani doesn’t believe Sidekick is a good idea either: “It’s a breach of privacy. The company I work for will have infrastructure support that will pick this plug-in up and see the security risk. Microsoft Outlook already has this feature of send/receive receipts so it’s nothing new”.

I asked 29 year old Junel Islam, Regional Manager of the Post Office who believes it’s crucial to know when someone has read or received his emails because it’s important to his field of work. Islam doesn’t see it as a breach of privacy: “I need to know if someone has received what I sent them, I don’t necessarily need a reply straight away but it’s crucial to know if they are aware of the job that’s presented to them.”

Knowing exactly who’s read your emails, and when, could be really helpful – but it could also be used against you, so be sure to have a quick-fire excuse next time somebody asks “did you get my email”.

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

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