How To Tell When Someone was Last Active on Facebook
Do you want to see if your friends have been on Facebook recently? Or, do you want to stop other Facebook users from knowing when you were last active on Facebook? This tutorial will show you how to tell when someone was last active on Facebook and then show you how to prevent others from determining when you were last active on Facebook.
Sometimes social media makes people a bit impatient. Social media has only fueled the immediate response mindset so many people have. Users who enjoy seeing others’ online activity status can experience negative feelings if they don’t receive an immediate response. Although the other person may be busy or not ready to respond, the sender of a message may feel discouraged, left out, or even disrespected.
Some social networks have removed this status information altogether while other social networks have yet to catch up.
It is much easier and, probably healthier, to discuss your online status and how you use Facebook with your friends to set expectations rather than just turn off your status altogether. If you’re changing this because you feel pressured to respond immediately to contact, setting those expectations with your friends can resolve the issue immediately without impacting your friendships or changing the way you use Facebook.
You could tell Facebook friends that even if you’re shown as active or recently active on Facebook doesn’t mean you were actively using Facebook. You could explain that you frequently leave Facebook running on your smartphone even when you are not actively using it. Tell your friends that it could take 24 hours for you to respond to messages and to not take it personally.
If setting expectations with regard to response times isn’t working or if you generally just want to protect your online privacy, these methods will help you. Of course, when used properly the active statuses will let others know they can contact you now and expect a response.
Last active on Facebook
Facebook is ever-evolving so the last active statuses, friends’ list, and interface often change. Currently, there are two versions of Facebook: The Classic Version, and the New Facebook. The New Facebook interface was only rolled out to a handful of users so you’re probably using the classic version. The only reason we bring this up is that our instructions may vary slightly depending on your version.
What is ‘Last Active’ on Facebook?
You and your friends’ last active status will appear in various areas of Facebook. Whether you’re using an application or you’re using a web browser, navigate to Messenger to find out when another user was last active.
To find the online status of another user on an iPhone or Android you can:
- Navigate to Facebook Messenger by tapping on the chat icon in the upper right-hand corner of the application
- Back out of any messages currently displayed (if you were messaging someone)
- View the round profile pictures at the top and swipe to the right to uncover more
- Each person who’s currently active on Facebook will have a green dot next to their name
- Anyone who was recently active will have the time rather than a green dot
If you’re not using Facebook Messenger, you can see who’s currently online:
- Navigate to your News Feed within the Facebook app
- Look at the top under ‘What’s on your mind?”
- Each online friend will have a round profile icon with the little green dot
The same goes for the web browser. From the web navigate to the same place and your friends who are online will have the green dot. Unfortunately, this only shows who’s online right now, not the last active status.
You can also see the activity status of friends by:
- Visiting the News Feed page and click on ‘Contacts’ located on the right-hand side
- Search for the green dot by each name indicating they’re active or have been recently
Who Can See My Activity Status?
Unless you’ve turned your activity status off, which we’ll discuss in a moment, anyone who is your friend on Facebook can see this status. If you’ve blocked someone, blocked someones’ messages in Messenger, or you aren’t friends with another person, they won’t be able to see your activity status even if it’s turned on.
Hiding last active on Facebook
To help protect your Facebook privacy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hiding your last active status. In fact, it can be quite liberating if you have friends who always think when you’re online you should be at their beck and call.
From the Facebook app:
- Select the People tab and select Active at the top.
- Toggle off the slider next to your name.
From the Facebook Messenger app:
- Open the Facebook Messenger app and select your profile icon.
- Select Availability under your image and toggle it to off.
If you prefer to use Messenger Lite as I do, the process is similar:
- Select the cog settings icon.
- Select your profile at the top.
- Select Active Status.
- Toggle it to Off.
You can do much the same in the browser version of Facebook too.
- Open Facebook in a browser.
- Select the small grey cog icon at the bottom of the chat slider on the right.
- Select Turn Off Active Status.
If you use all three of these apps, you will have to follow the steps for all three apps.
Hide Facebook status with Adblock Plus
If you use a browser for most of your Facebook activity, there are a bunch of extensions you can use that can hide your online status. You can also use Adblock Plus (ABP) to block it. As I know many of you already use Adblock Plus, this is a very useful tweak to make.
- Select Options within ABP.
- Select the option to Start Writing My Filter List in the center pane.
- Add ‘https://*-edge-chat.facebook.com’ to the list and select Save.
The downside of turning off status on Facebook is that you won’t be able to see other people’s status either. I think that’s a fair trade-off: If you don’t want to be seen, why should you get to see other people?