Forget the excuse that you didn't see the invite. If your friends, family or regrettable acquaintances use Facebook to organize parties and other events, you'll now be victim of read receipts on the invites.
In a site update, noted by The Daily Dot, Facebook has added a "Seen" tag adjacent to each name on the guest list -- if they indeed viewed it -- that is visible to the event coordinators. The update reads, "Coordinate with Guests: Now you can see who has viewed an event invite and easily message them to make plans." The feature is available on the desktop site and mobile apps.
"We’re piloting the ability for private event hosts and guests to know whether their friends they invited have seen the event," a Facebook spokesperson told The Daily Dot.
And indeed, it will be known. There's no immediate way to disable the feature. Facebook users who are invited guests and want to plead ignorance must elect not to check their notifications tab... ever. But if you have a snoopy friend, they could always check whether you've signed on to the network or simply message you again to employ another read receipt tracker.
This is what Facebook’s new friendship destruction device (event read receipts) looks like pic.twitter.com/Nv1IZfnCJ6
— Daniel Victor (@bydanielvictor) September 14, 2015
Facebook added read receipts to private messages and group threads within Messenger in November 2014. There is no easy way to turn them off; you must simply not click on the message. If you view it, you're tagged -- unless you install web browser extensions. Read receipts are also present in Facebook Groups, where members can see which other members of the group have viewed each post. There's also no easy way to disable those tags as well.
Facebook has been working to update its events to attract more users to the feature. Over 450 million people -- out of Facebook’s 1.49 billion active monthly users -- create events each month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted in July, during the second-quarter earnings call.
In August, Facebook added new cover art for events, available first to Android users. The site is also adding new features that separate public events from private ones, as noted by The Next Web. Public events now pull in more information about the location and associated content, such as photos.
Facebook Event product manager Aditya Koolwal teased the introduction of receipt notifications in an interview with Mashable in May. Koolwal also said at the time that events may soon be accessible to people who are not users.