Prevent Facebook friends from seeing you've read a message on Android

Don't want your friend to see you've actually read a Facebook message? If you're an Android user, you're in luck.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Privy Chat for Facebook is a free Android app, available in the Play store, that prevents your friends from being able to see you've read a message. Originally covered by Ghacks, this small app is sure to be useful to Android users everywhere.

We've all felt the pressure to immediately reply to a message after opening it, knowing the sender can see you've read it. Or the rage that boils up inside after sending a message, only to see it's been read and no response sent in return.

As clever as read receipts appear to be in theory, they can do more harm than good.

By installing Privy Chat for Facebook on your Android device, you're able to fearlessly view incoming Facebook messages.

The app needs a ton of work, both on the user interface and features alike (you can't start a new conversation from within the app, or view any attachments), but it does what it's advertised to do.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

A closed-eye icon next to an incoming message in the app indicates the message has yet to be marked as read, where an open eye indicates that the sender can see you've read it.

I recommend adding the app shortcut to one of your home screens and using it to read incoming messages. You can even reply directly within the app, which marks all messages in the conversation as read.

Download Privy Chat for Facebook from the Play store.

Tech Culture
About the author

Jason Cipriani has been covering mobile technology news for over five years. His work spans from CNET How To and software review sections to WIRED’s Gadget Lab and


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