While all social media platforms serve different purposes and are the hub of different demographics, one feature is common for most of them: the DM or messaging feature. All platforms, be it Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or WhatsApp, make sure that they’ve provided their users with a means to interact with each other.
And when allowing people to text each other didn’t seem enough, these platforms came up with the online status feature. This is a feature that tells your friends and contacts when you’re active on the platform so that you can have a conversation with them accordingly.
However, since not all users are interested in using these features, they’ve also been provided with a way out. In our blog today, we’ll be focusing on this online status feature of Facebook.
We’ll learn how to view the online status of a fellow Facebook friend and how to hide your own online status.
But first, we’ll discuss how to know if someone is online on Facebook that is not your friend.
Sound’s good? Let’s get started!
Can You See if Someone is Online on Facebook Without Being Friends?
Unfortunately, there is no way to see if someone is online on Facebook without being friends. A user’s online status is considered private information on Facebook, much like on any other social media platform. Therefore, on Facebook, your online status will only be visible to the people who are connected to you. If someone is not on your friend list, they wouldn’t be able to see your online status.
However, while Facebook won’t tell you if they’re online directly, there are some other tricks that can help you figure it out. Are you curious to know about them? Keep reading to find out!
Alternative Ways to See if Someone is Online on Facebook Without Being Friends
As we’ve mentioned earlier, if you’re not connected with someone on Facebook, the platform will not show you their online status out of respect for their privacy. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s no other way out for you because there is.
In order to help you with your problem, we’ve researched and come up with some quick tricks mentioned below. However, in order to use any of these to work for you, you need to fulfill some criteria. Let’s take a look at these tricks and figure out which one can work for you.
1. Did They Upload a Post Recently? Check Their Timeline
When you see someone’s post on your newsfeed on Facebook, have you ever noticed how, right under their name, the date of the upload is mentioned? Well, if you’re viewing a post 24 hours after it has been uploaded, you’ll see a date here.
However, if you see it within the 24-hours window, instead of the date, you’ll see something like this written underneath their names: “xyz minutes ago” or “xyz hours ago”.
If they’ve uploaded a post, say, 5 minutes ago, it’s a clear sign that they’re online, or at least were online about 5 minutes ago.
There’s only one condition attached to this trick: this person has to have an open Facebook account in order for you to see their posts without being on their friend list.
And since most users keep their accounts private nowadays, we doubt that this trick will come in handy for you. However, on the off chance that this person does have a public account, knowing if they’re online through their posts will become quite easy for you.
2. Check Their Recent Comments on Mutual Friend’s Posts
Since you’re so curious about this person’s online status on Facebook without even being connected with them, we’re assuming that you must know them in real life. And when you know someone in real life, there’s a possibility that you two might also have a mutual connection.
And, if this mutual connection is friends of both this person and you on Facebook, you might find their likes and comments on the posts of the mutual friend. This is how our second trick works.
While there’s no way to tell when a person has liked a post, commenting works differently. Under all the comments, you can see the time when they’ve been added. However, this time will be accurate only for the first 24 hours; after that, all you’ll be able to see is: “xyz d (day)” or “xyz w (week)”.
So, if you spot their comment on a post of a mutual friend with “xyz min (minutes)” written underneath it, it means that they’ve added the comment merely minutes ago and are probably still online.
3. Send Them a Message
We agree that the first two tricks mentioned above are not foolproof. However, they do have an advantage: employing these tricks would ensure that the concerned person doesn’t know you’re spying on them.
On the other hand, using the trick we’ll talk about now will involve reaching out to them. If that’s not something you’re ready for, you can skip this section and keep reading ahead.
However, if you don’t mind reaching out to them if it means you can figure out when they’re online, this trick is the ultimate solution to your problem.
All you need to do is sending them a text message. Once you send them a text on Messenger and the Seen notification appears under your text, it means that they’re online. If you’re Messenger on the smartphone app, instead of the Seen notification, you’ll see a tiny, circular thumbnail of their profile picture at the bottom of your message. This means the same thing; it only appears to be different in the app.
Today, we’ve discussed the possibility of learning about someone’s online status on Facebook when you’re not their friend on the platform.
While there’s no direct way of learning it on Facebook, there are some workaround tricks you could use. However, all these tricks are conditional and might or might not work for you. And if you’re planning on spying on them without their consent, you must re-think it.
Later, we’ve also talked about how you can view the online status of Facebook friends and how you can hide your own. Lastly, we’ve included multiple step-by-step guides of how these actions can be performed on Facebook’s app, web version, and the Messenger app. If you’re going through something similar and our blog helped you, we’d love to know about it in the comments section.