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Sent vs Delivered: What’s the difference?

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  • 2 min read

Text messaging has become an essential part of communication these days. Outside of the basic ability to send messages, there are certain other features that make the experience better. Options such as being able to send media and other messaging options like specific replies and saving all add up to the app’s user experience.

One very important feature is message status updates that indicate whether or not your messages have been delivered or read. In this article, we’re talking about sent and delivered status messages that you can see when sending an SMS or text message. 

Also read: What does ‘message not sent invalid destination address’ mean?

What does ‘sent’ mean?

For most apps, you’ll see the ‘sent’ label under your messages when the message has been sent from your device and delivered to the app’s server. In the case of SMS, this indicates that the message has been sent from your device and is on the carrier’s network waiting to reach the recipient. 

If you’re using an internet-based app like Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger, you’ll see the label represented with an icon. In Whatsapp, a single tick indicates that the message has been sent. On Messenger, you’ll see a hollow circle with a tick inside.

What does ‘delivered’ mean?

The ‘delivered’ label means that the message has been delivered to the recipient’s device, regardless of whether you used an internet-based text messaging app or SMS. Do keep in mind that ‘delivered’ doesn’t necessarily mean that the recipient has read the message. 

On apps that support read receipts, you’ll see this being indicated by different symbols too. For example, a double tick on Whatsapp, or a blue circle with a checkmark on Messenger means delivered. Since both these apps support read receipts, the symbols indicating your message has been read will be different. 

Networks, internet or telecom, can’t guarantee delivery immediately after your message is sent. Other than the recipient’s device being unavailable, factors like network congestion and server availability can affect delivery times. 

Also read: How to find T-Mobile order status? “Being processed” explained

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: