Does Facebook Show You As Idle When You Aren't in That Window?

by Melly Parker
Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Facebook enables you to connect with friends and family by leaving posts and messages, but it also has a chat feature that works like an instant messaging program. When you open Facebook chat, it's easy to see that not every contact is online, meaning that you can't instantly chat with them. Idle or offline contacts may not respond to messages right away.

Facebook Chat

Facebook chat, accessible from the lower right sidebar, connects you to your friends in real time. It also has video chat functionality. You can choose which friends see you as online, block any contact or log out and receive any sent messages in your Messages inbox. Facebook removed the idle symbol in Facebook chat, so you won't be shown as idle when you aren't in the Facebook window.

Chat Idle

Facebook used to display a blue half-moon symbol to let users know that a person on the contact list was logged into chat but away from Facebook. As of late 2011, however, that functionality was removed. Now users with green circles are available, users with mobile phone icons can be reached on mobile devices and those with no sign next to their names can be reached through Facebook messages, which can be sent through the chat window.

Contact List

The contact list on Facebook is split into two parts. The first part, the top list, shows friends you've recently interacted with or friends that you interact with on a regular basis. This list changes as you use Facebook; you can not change it yourself. The lower list -- labeled More Friends -- shows friends that are currently active on Facebook and logged into chat.


One way a person can tell whether or not a friend is idle on Facebook is the Seen feature. When you send a message to a contact, the chat window lets you know whether the person has seen it. The message includes the time the message was viewed. Once the person replies to your message, the Seen notification is removed from the chat window.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

About the Author

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.

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