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How To Tell When Someone was Last Active on Facebook

Posted by Jamie on May 2, 2019

Want to see if your friends have been on Facebook lately? Want to stop others knowing when you were last active? This tutorial will show you how to tell when someone was last active on Facebook and then show you how to hide that fact from the world.

Social media does funny things to people. Were we to send someone a letter, you know like a written one, would you sit by your letterbox waiting for a reply? If you called them and they weren’t available, would you constantly look at your phone waiting for them to call back? The answer is likely no but when it comes to Facebook or other social network, if someone doesn’t answer in seconds, we begin to take it personally.

Last online or online status seemed like such a good idea. Tell your friends that you’re currently using Facebook so you should be able to interact right away or tell them you haven’t been online in days so they don’t wait for a reply. Only it hasn’t worked out like that as most of us know all too well.

Some social networks have removed this status altogether while others have yet to catch up.

It is much easier and probably healthier to discuss 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 can cure the issue immediately without impacting your friendship or changing the way you use Facebook.

If that doesn’t work, these methods will.

Last active on Facebook

Facebook makes it very easy to find out when someone was last active if they are your friends. Just log on using a desktop browser and look on the right of the page at your friends list and you should see all their status listed.

Green dots are for those online right now and those with a time next to their name have been online that many hours ago. So if someone has 1h next to their name, they were online an hour ago. If they have 12h, twelve hours and so on.

This doesn’t work for people you’re not friends with but for all your Facebook friends is a fairly accurate measure.

On mobile, you can see the same using Facebook Messenger. Open your Friends list and you should see all their last seen times listed in much the same way as on desktop.

Hiding last active on Facebook

If you want to be more private, 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:

  1. Select the People tab and select Active at the top.
  2. Toggle off the slider next to your name.

Or:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app and select your profile icon.
  2. Select Availability under your image and toggle it to off.

If you prefer to use Messenger Lite like I do, the process is similar:

  1. Select the cog settings icon.
  2. Select your profile at the top.
  3. Select Active Status.
  4. Toggle it to Off.

You can do much the same in the browser version of Facebook too.

  1. Open Facebook in a browser.
  2. Select the small gray cog icon at the bottom of the chat slider on the right.
  3. Select Turn Off Active Status.

If you use all three of these apps, you will have to do this on all three.

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 activity. 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.

  1. Select Options within ABP.
  2. Select the option to Start Writing My Filter List in the center pane.
  3. Add ‘https://*-edge-chat.facebook.com’ to the list and select Save.

I use a different method of blocking ads so had to ask a couple of people if this worked. Two said yes it did and one said it didn’t. Your mileage may vary but if you already use ABP, it’s worth a try.

The downside of turning off status in Facebook is that you won’t be able to see other people’s status either. I think that’s fair. If you don’t want to be seen, why should you get to see other people?

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