The Facebook Messenger user base has developed in such a way that it has taken over text messaging as the primary contact method for many people. However, sometimes you might want to hide your online status from certain contacts and look offline to others. There are neat little tricks that you should know that can help you achieve this.
To get started, you must log into the desktop version of Facebook on your mobile phone using a web browser. In my case, I use Google Chrome, but whatever web browser you choose will work properly.
You may need to enable the “Desktop site” feature from your web browser menu before the actual desktop version with the chat sidebar appears. Once successful, tap the ellipse menu icon in the chat sidebar, then open “Disable Active Status” for several new options related to your online status.
Select the setting “Disable active status for all contacts except …”, then you can start adding contacts to whom you want to share your online status by typing their name and selecting it. Anyone you add here will be able to see your online status, while everyone will see you as offline. When finished, press the “OK” button to save your changes immediately. There she is!
This is what the Facebook Messenger application displays on your cell phone if no contact you choose is currently online. You are officially offline for everyone!
Because these settings are taken to the Facebook Messenger application on your cellphone, it can almost be considered a hidden feature for mobile users. It’s a pity the Messenger application on your cellphone doesn’t offer the same functionality, but using this desktop solution completes work for now.
If you want to be seen online again by everyone, return to the chat sidebar as before, select the “Disable active status for all contacts” option, then press “OK.” You must make sure to tap “Activate Active Status” after that. Sometimes changes don’t take effect to your account immediately, so it might take a few minutes for the online status to be updated.