Private Status Sharing and Sender-Controlled Notifications in Mobile Instant Messaging


While mobile instant messaging (MIM) facilitates ubiquitous interpersonal communication, its constant connectivity could build the expectation of an immediate response to messages, and its notifications flood could cause interruptions at inopportune moments. We examine two design concepts for MIM—private status sharing and sender-controlled notifications—that aim to lower the pressure for an immediate reply and reduce unnecessary interruptions by untimely notifications. Private status sharing reactively reveals a customized status with a selected partner(s) only when the partner has sent a message. Sender-controlled notifications give senders the control of choosing whether to send a notification for their own messages. We built MyButler, an Android app prototype that instantiates these two concepts and integrated it with KakaoTalk, a commercial MIM app. During a two-week field study with 11 pairs (5 couples and 6 friend pairs), participants expressed themselves through a total of 210 different statuses, 64.3% of which indicated the current activity or task of the user. Participants reported that private status sharing enabled them to explain their unavailability and relieved the pressure and expectations for timely attendance. We reveal more findings on the types of privately shared statuses and their roles in MIM communication; the in-situ behaviors and patterns of using sender-controlled notifications; and the motivations of MIM users in choosing whether to alert their messages. In terms of message notifications, senders chose to send 25.4% of the messages without any notification. We found that senders' decisions to alert are affected by the receiver's status, their own status to chat, and the possibility of message content exposure to others through notifications. Based on our findings, we draw insights into how the concepts of private status sharing and sender-controlled notifications can be applied in future designs and explorations.



I Share, You Care: Private Status Sharing and Sender-Controlled Notifications in Mobile Instant Messaging
Hyunsung Cho, Jinyoung Oh, Juho Kim, and Sung-Ju Lee
ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (ACM CSCW) 2020.
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Sender-Controlled Mobile Instant Message Notifications Using Activity Information
Hyunsung Cho, Jinyoung Oh, Juho Kim, and Sung-Ju Lee
Proceedings of ACM MobiSys 2019 (Demo).


Hyunsung Cho


Jinyoung Oh


Juho Kim


Sung-Ju Lee