Last month, users slowly began to notice that Facebook chat (messages) had a new feature. Right under sent messages, in the chat box appeared a light gray notification that simply said “Seen XX:XXpm.”
We quickly learned that Facebook’s new feature allowed people to see when their conversation partner sees a message, and some users had a collective freakout. When you think about it, it really is a strange feature that could lead to some awkward scenarios between friends and relatives.
Take for instance this possible scenario:
“Hey, as*hole, what didn’t you respond to my message?”
“Don’t even try that dude, I saw that you saw it.”
“No, really, I didn’t.”
“Whatever, I hate you and we are no longer friends now.”
Seriously – it could happen. Or at least something like it could happen (albeit a bit less dramatic).
Facebook has defended the “message seen” feature by saying that “knowing when your friends see your messages means you no longer to have to wonder if a message you’ve sent was received and is a lightweight way to make your messages more conversational.”
But if you don’t buy that and want to get rid of it, there’s a Chrome extension for that. It’s called Facebook Unseen and lets you turn off the “seen at” message with the flip of a switch.
Once installed, here’s what you’ll see at the top of your browser:
As you can see, it’ll keep a tally for you letting you know how many message you haven’t “seen” that you would have “seen” before. Turn off Facebook Unseen if you want everyone to know that you’ve read their messages.