What Is the Blue Dot on Facebook?

by John Lister

Facebook uses colored dots to indicate several different events and states in its messaging and chat services. The blue dot, which some users may not notice, indicates whether a message has been read. It should not be confused with the green dot, which indicates whether or not a friend is available for chat.

Blue Dot Location

The blue dot is only visible when you open the full message inbox on the Facebook website. Simply clicking on the message icon in the top left of the screen to bring up your latest messages will not let you see the blue dot icons. Instead you must click on the message icon and select "See All" at the bottom of the messages.

Blue Dot Meaning

Once you have the full message inbox open, a blue icon will appear when you hover your mouse over a message. You can see it on the right side of the message listing beneath the time or date. A blue circle indicates that you have already read the message, while a solid blue dot shows it remains unread. Although you can access your inbox on Facebook's mobile applications, the blue dot will not be visible.

Actions

If you click on the blue dot or circle, you can switch a read message to have an unread status, or vice versa. Marking a message as unread in this way will not cause it to show up as a new message in your notifications. You can also click the blue "x" symbol beside the dot/circle to delete the message.

Chat Icons

Facebook also uses color icons for its chat bar tool; these are more prominent as the chat bar appears whenever you are using Facebook. In the chat bar, a green dot shows that your friend is available to chat right away, while a white rectangular icon, which represents a phone, shows that your friend will see any chat messages on their cell phone. A friend who is listed without an icon is not currently available to chat.

About the Author

A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.

Photo Credits

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