Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to Prevent Facebook From Publishing "time since last active"

I've noticed on my iOS Facebook apps that, under the chat feature, they display how recently it's been since my friends have been active on Facebook. In other words, the last time they accessed their Facebook account (minutes, hours, etc). This could easily lead to some animosity if you send a message to someone and later saw that your friend had accessed Facebook but didn't read or acknowledge your message. You might think, "Hey! Why is so-and-so ignoring me?"

It took a lot of searching to figure out how to turn off this time tracker (which, in this day and age, means more than half an hour on Google followed by some experimentation). It turns out there isn't a specific setting on either Facebook's website or in the iOS apps to turn this off. The only solution is to completely log out of your Facebook apps on your iOS devices. Since this isn't very practical it looks like iOS users are stuck with this creepy feature that broadcasts how long it's been since they last looked at their Facebook account.

Fortunately, this time tracking feature doesn't seem to be an issue when on the desktop or Blackberry. I wonder what the Android user experience is.

11 comments:

~N said...

The Android experience is the exact same. I don't always feel like replying to a comment or a message right away, but feel obligated to do so as Messages has a "read receipt" and other users can also tell when I was last active. These shenanigans need to get the boot.

Alessandro Portale said...

When logging in via teh Android FB client, my friends can track that on their iOS FB client. But my Android client does not show such info amout my friends.

Horrible feature. I do not want people to know that I sometimes look up FB in the middle of the night.

Alessandro Portale said...

When logging in via teh Android FB client, my friends can track that on their iOS FB client. But my Android client does not show such info amout my friends.

Horrible feature. I do not want people to know that I sometimes look up FB in the middle of the night.

Brina said...

I log in from my laptop not my phone and it still tells everyone when I was last online. I really hate this.

Brina said...

I log in from my laptop not my phone and it still tells everyone when I was last online. I really hate this.

Ssssss said...

So are you saying on your desktop, it doesn't show??

Cherie said...

I think if you 'log off chat' in the settings at the top of the active list that works.

Cherie said...

I think if you 'log of chat' that works. It's in the settings bit at the top if the list if when people where last active.

Amy said...

It used to be the " log off chat" option but it seems that it still doesn't make a difference. If someone goes to the message history that you already shared it still shows them your last active information. Hate, hate, HATE IT!!!!! I sometimes pop on and off fb during my downtimes at work, it's allowed. However my boyfriend seems to think I'm ignoring him if he sees this and I haven't contacted him instead. Itst driving me crazy. Just because I have a few seconds to scroll through my news feeds and hit like a few times doesn't mean I have time to call him when it would be a fast "how are you" and a "hi and bye" I feel it's an infrengement on our privacy rights on Facebook's behalf.

Gary Colón said...

And still the problem is ignored by facebook. Why does facebook insist on this damned timestamp???? Read what Amy said. It's true. I go on there sometimes just for a second or two, but then "someone" feels "neglected" because I'm not immediately contacting them! "I see you were on facebook. Why didn't you send me a message?" It is so f'n annoying and I've read threads like this, but facebook ignores and then eventually "closes" the discussion topic. No explanation, nothing. Do they realize how many unnecessary arguments they're starting with this crap? I would not be surprised if this ridiculousness has caused breakups between many couples.

Lynn Lynn said...

I'm guessing I'll have to open a 2nd FB acct just to view newsfeeds and trending but I won't have my friends or notifications. If they allow you to hide the fact that you're active why can't you hide when you were "last active"? It defeats the purpose of hiding "active".