How to See Other People's Messages on Facebook

By Ryan Menezes

Anyone can view private messages if someone in the thread shares them.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In many ways, Facebook Messages work like email, sharing private communications between as few as two contacts. But the Messages app also integrates with Facebook's chat service, which encourages real-time conversations between larger groups. If you join a chat session associated with other people's messages, you view all messages in the conversation, even those from before you joined. You can't add yourself to someone else's chat session or message thread, but anyone currently in the conversation can add you.

Step 1

Instruct a friend to log in to Facebook and open the message conversation that you want to view.

Step 2

Instruct the friend to click "Actions" and click "Open in Chat" in the drop-down menu.

Step 3

Instruct the friend to click the icon in the chat window's title bar to add other people to the chat session.

Step 4

Instruct the friend to type your name into the text box labeled "Add Friends to This Chat" and then click "Done" to let you see all messages in the conversation.