Last Seen status in Telegram: how to assure anonymity of application usage

2016-12-23 16:35:18
In: News Functional
Telegram users often want to conceal their messenger activity from other people. Although it is impossible to hide your online status today, there is a possibility of removing the exact time of your last visit that is frequently enough for providing required anonymity.  

Function of hiding Last Seen time: how it works

The given functional has several options. Each client can customize settings allowing to specify who will see their Last Seen time: all users without exceptions (by default), individually chosen contacts or nobody. In case of hiding a Last Seen timestamp, the following notifications will be displayed in your status:
  • Last seen recently;
  • Last seen this week;
  • Last seen within a month;
  • Last seen a long time ago;
  As for Android and iOS applications, you can change your Telegram status in the following way:
  1. Go to account settings.
  2. Find the «Privacyand Security» section.
  3. Tap on «Lastseen».
  4. In the appeared menu, select «Everybody» (your Last Seen time will be available for all clients), «My contact» (information is available for your contact list only) or «Nobody» (no one can see your Last Seen timestamp).
  5. Along with standard settings, the developers have implemented additional options, such as «NeverShare With» and «Always Share With» in the «Last Seen» menu. They allow including unlimited exclusions into the list and are characterized by the top-priority action. For example, the accounts mentioned in the «Never Share With» list will always see your «timeless» status whatever category you choose – «Everybody», «My contact» or «Nobody». When it comes to the «Always Share With» list, the opposite is true.
  6. After making all necessary settings, you need to press the «Done» button in order to adopt changes.
    Unfortunately, it is impossible to perform these manipulations on PC, as developers did not include the given option into the settings of a PC version. At the same time, all the changes made in Telegram via mobile devices will be valid for PC as well.  

 Why there is a need of hiding the users’ Telegram status

The main reason of anonymity consists in users’ unwillingness to demonstrate their activity to particular persons. Frequently, this group of people includes black-hearted colleagues or a boss who will hardly approve your being online during working hours (that is, if Telegram is not supposed to be used for corporate purposes. At the same time, while hiding your Last Seen time from your boss, do not forget making the given information available for your friends – that is the exclusion lists are meant for.     The important feature of hiding the Last Seen timestamp in a userʼs status is a so called «boomerang effect». What does it mean? If you make your Last Visit time invisible to one or several contacts, so you will not be able to see the online time of these accounts. For this reason, you need to think twice which contacts you want to include into one or another list.  

User activity determination

It is necessary to understand that although the absence of a time indicator makes it more difficult to determine a userʼs activity, there is still a possibility for you to reveal it by means of indirect indicators. For example, the «Last seen recently» status means that a user visited the messenger 3 days ago at most. The «Last seen a long time ago» status means that this account is inactive for longer than a month or administrators have temporarily banned it. Such feature provides a good privacy and allows understanding if it is possible to get in contact with some particular person via Telegram.   Besides, Telegram clients who use it quite rarely need to know that this service has such function as self-destructing accounts. It comes into action if you do not use Telegram for the past 6 months. In this case, an account and all information connected with it (files, photos, a contact list, the conversation history, etc) are deleted once and for all. If you want to register the given account in Telegram once more, you will have to begin again from the ground up.