Read Facebook chat messages without read notifications

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 13, 2013
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook

If you are using Facebook's default Messenger application you may have noticed that it sends read notifications automatically whenever you or a chat partner read messages in the app. While that is mighty useful at times, for instance to make sure that your date has indeed received word that you will be late a couple of minutes, it can also be stressful at other times.

Some feel pressured to answer right away when the other party knows that they have read the email, and senders may get irritated when they see that you have read a message but do not respond to it.

Privy Chat for Facebook is a free Android application that serves two main purposes. It first lets you read all Facebook chat messages and access all conversations that you have received in the past without read notifications. This means that you can read new messages without feeling pressured to reply immediately, because senders do not know that you have already read their messages.

You can furthermore retrieve a list of online friends from Facebook to see who is online and who is not.

You need to enter your Facebook login information on first start and allow Privy Chat for Facebook to access your public profile,  messages, chat status, friend's chat status and to manage your messages on the social networking site.

private chat facebook

The app displays a list of messages sorted by recency in its interface afterwards. It displays the sender's profile photo, name, part of the message, time and an indicator whether the message has been marked as read or not. A closed eye indicates that the sender has not received read notifications yet, while an open eye means that this is the case.

The read notification is transferred as soon as you reply to a message in the application.

The application has two issues right now. It is currently not possible to start conversations using it. While you can reply to all participants who have messaged you or who you have messaged in the past, you cannot initiate a new conversation. There is also no way to send messages to group conversations.

A second issue is the inability to display some attachments, e.g. images attached to messages.


Privy Chat for Facebook is currently only available for Android. It is not the only application available that provides you with that functionality. Most third party Facebook chat clients, for instance those based on Jabber, are not sending read notifications when you are using them. (via Smartdroid)


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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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