Tech

How to Turn Off the 'Seen' Feature on Facebook Chat

Published On 02/25/2016 Published On 02/25/2016
screenshot of Facebook chat message with read receipt
Screenshot via Facebook/Jennifer Bui

There's a very good reason why iPhone users (well, most iPhone users) opt to keep their text message read receipts turned off; it's the everyman's best plausible deniability defense. That's why it's so frustrating that Facebook doesn't offer the same option for chat. But thanks to the brilliant Chrome plugin Facebook Unseen, there’s an easy way to keep your friends from knowing when or if you've read their messages. Here's how to set it up.

Screenshot via Facebook

Once you've downloaded the plugin, head to Chrome > Preferences > Extensions to make sure it's enabled. Then go forth and freely read each and every message, undetected by the sender. Just remember this only works on the desktop version of the site (for now, you're on your own when it comes to that stupid Messenger app). 

You may be thinking, won't it seem suspicious if I reply to someone's message without a read receipt showing up first? Yeah, probably, but not to worry -- the plugin has you covered. There's an option that allows you to manually mark individual messages as read, on demand. 

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist and thinks read receipts cause way more anxiety than they're worth.

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