What Does “Active Now” Mean on Facebook Messenger?

What does active now mean on Facebook messenger?

If people are in the Active Now list on Facebook, it means they are actively using Facebook at the moment. They are viewing their feed, chatting, playing games or some other activity. That person is online and you can chat with them.

Does it mean active on just messenger or active on both messenger or Facebook?

And also, when it says active 4 hours ago, does it mean on messenger or Facebook?

Seeing “Active [so many minutes] Ago” means that was the last time that particular user was on Facebook.

Facebook says:

When you view your conversations in mobile messages, you’ll see how recently your friends interacted with Facebook.

This built-in feature helps give you an idea of how quickly they may respond to any messages you send.

Some people have tested this feature in Facebook and found that it’s not very accurate. They knew someone was sleeping all night and it said they were active 2 hours ago – but they really weren’t.

Facebook Invisible Mode

Being active means you’re online and all your friends can see that you are online. I think it’s time Facebook came up with invisible mode, don’t you? That would be nice – you could be on Facebook without others knowing.

Facebook Messenger status screenWhen it says “On Mobile” or “Is Active” on Facebook, are They Online?

  • When you see the “Active Now” or “Is Active” status, that means that person is online using Facebook Messenger using their mobile phone (iPhone or Android app).
  • When you see something like “Active 10 Min Ago” as their status, that means the person was active 10 minutes ago on Facebook Messenger.
    • Seeing “1m” would mean 1 minute ago and “2m” would mean 2 minutes ago and so on.
    • If there is no time listed, it means they are using it right now (if it’s showing that they’re active) or that they’ve been on Facebook in the last, few hours.
  • When you see the status saying “On Mobile,” it means they are logged in on their mobile device but not currently active on Facebook.

Facebook tracks your status on mobile devices but not really when you’re on a desktop or laptop.


So if you see people online and they’re not talking to you, then there’s a good chance they’re actually not ignoring you but they are away. We’ll see if Facebook improves this feature over time or not.

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    • Richard Kelly
    • November 11, 2016

    I this fb must come with a system that you can see who’s been chatting with each other

    • Samuel Reyna
    • December 5, 2016

    Does it mean they are on Facebook or that they are currently messaging someone?

      • fbhelper
      • December 5, 2016

      It means they are on Facebook and active. You won’t be able to see if they are currently messaging someone else. You can still message them even if they are messaging someone else.

      • patriot
      • December 24, 2016

      You will see someone active if he or she is on Messenger chatting or on Facebook logged in

    • Thomas
    • August 12, 2017

    This is also misleading. I purposely left Facebook app and messenger app open and plugged my phone in to go to sleep and it basically said I was active all night… won that bet haha

  1. Reply

    Does active now on messenger mean active for me as well as others?

      • fbhelper
      • January 19, 2018

      Yes, anybody.

  2. Reply

    This ruined a valueble friendship I had….I was asleep because I wake up at 4am and he said that I was active on messenger, ignoring him. He sent me the screenshot and that exactly what it said . I truly wish that Facebook would openly admit that it’s flawed .. when ppl said Facebook ruins relationships I didn’t believe it until now !!!!!

    • Mary
    • February 9, 2020

    Can you remove your messenger app. and still be on facebook?
    If you remove messenger app, but not facebook will it still show active now on messenger when you do not have messenger app?

      • getfbhelp
      • February 10, 2020

      You can remove the Messenger app from your phone and still have a valid Facebook account. Messenger is just an app.

      When you’re active on Facebook, it still might show that you’re active in Messenger if you access Facebook via the website since Messenger is built into the website.

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