What Does The Green Dot Mean on Facebook or Messenger?

Facebook Green Dot

We all know the green dot on the profile of your friends means that the person is online, but in the case of Facebook, have you ever wondered whether that applies to Facebook itself or the Facebook Messenger? Let’s find out.

Facebook is one of the most downloaded apps on the Google Play Store with over five billion downloads. This goes to show the extent of its user base. With this kind of user base, Facebook’s Messenger app is a great way to get in touch with people. But how do you know if the person you want to chat with is online? Well, read on to find out!

What is Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is the social media giant’s foray into instant messaging. While originally part of the Facebook app, Messenger became its own entity in 2011. The app lets you chat with users that you have added to your Friends list on Facebook. The app also lets you search for people outside of your Friends list, however, these messages appear in a separate window, and the user does not get notified.

Facebook Messenger has integrated voice and video calling into its app. Recently, in a bid to join the ranks of Zoom and Google Meet, Facebook Messenger added a new ‘Rooms‘ function. The new function allows users to create group video calls with up to 50 people.

Related: A beginners guide to Messenger Rooms

Facebook Green Dot Meaning

Here’s what the green dot means in depending on the screen you are looking at on the Facebook app or web, or the Facebook Messenger app.

What is the green dot?

Facebook introduced a way to find out if someone is currently online. The green dot was introduced as an indication of a user’s online status. The green dot appears on the user’s profile picture, next to their name However, there is quite a lot of confusion surrounding the green dot, and what it actually means. So let’s take a closer look at it.

What does the green dot mean on Facebook Messenger?

As mentioned above, the green dot appears on the user’s profile picture. This is to indicate that the user is currently online on Facebook. Yes, it is counterintuitive, since we would expect it to mean that the user is currently using Facebook Messenger.

However, Facebook clarifies that the green dot only signifies that the user is online on Facebook. This means that the user could be on either the Facebook app, Facebook.com, or Facebook Messenger.

Related: How to unsend messages on Facebook Messenger app

What does the green dot mean on the Facebook webpage?

The same green dot is also visible on Facebook’s website. Similar to its indication on the Messenger app, if you see the green on a person’s profile picture on the website, this means that person is currently online. On the Facebook website, the green dot appears on a person’s profile page. So to check if someone is online, you need to visit their profile.

Related: How to FaceTime on Android

What does the green dot beside video mean?

This green dot is visible only if you tap on a person’s name in the Messenger app. The green dot beside the video option indicates that the person is available to video call.

Since most devices these days have cameras, this green dot is almost always synonymous with a user being online. However, if you have not given Facebook access to your camera, then the green dot will only be on the person’s profile picture.

What does ‘Active now’ mean?

The green dot on Facebook is not really accurate. This is mainly because the Facebook app (like many other apps) remains running in the background until you force stop it. This means the green dot may stay on, even if the person isn’t really using the app.

To combat this confusion, Facebook added an ‘Active now’ function. This function tracks the person’s activity on the app, to let other users know if they are actually online.

Active now basically means the person is currently online and is interacting with the Facebook app. It does not, however, mean that the person is chatting with someone or even using the Facebook Messenger app.

How to check who is active on Facebook

Facebook creates a list of all the users in your Friends list that are currently active. You can view this list easily from the Facebook Messenger app. Simply launch the app, and tap ‘People’ in the bottom right corner.

Note: The list consists of both ‘Active now’ users as well as green dot users. The Active now users are positioned at the top of the list.

How to change active status on Facebook

You can change your online status so that your friends don’t know when you come online on Facebook! However, doing this also prevents you from seeing which friends of yours are online. Note: The setting only applies to the device on which it is set. So if you want to turn off your active status on all your devices, you will have to do so individually.

To change your active status, follow this simple guide below.

On Android and iPhone

Launch the Facebook Messenger app, and tap your profile picture in the top left corner to open Settings.

Now tap on ‘Active Status’ and toggle the setting off or on depending on your preference.

On PC and Web (messenger.com)

Go to the Facebook Messenger webpage over at messenger.com and log in with your Facebook credentials.

Click the Settings cog in the top left corner next to your profile picture. Now click ‘Settings’

Toggle the ‘Active Status’ slider off or on depending on your preference.

Well, now you know the meaning of the green dot on Facebook. If you have any series, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below.



  1. Why is there green dot sometimes on both the profile pic & video icon & sometimes only on profile pic? Also who are the green dot people next to the create a video call camera?

  2. Who are the green dot people next to the create a video call list at the top of messenger? Why is there a green dot next to the profile pic & video icon & sometimes only by the profile pic?

  3. What does the green circle around the profile pic along with the green dot on messenger mean

  4. Great article & exactly what I needed to know. Thank you!

  5. I read the article and the one thing that isn’t mentioned is what I need cleared up. Example: I video called someone through FB messenger at 10:51pm and they didn’t answer. Note: they also hadn’t read my prior messages I sent (directly above the missed call notification box) in our chat. At 11:01pm I checked it again and their last active status now said “11 minutes ago” vs the 1 hr previously showing. My question is does someone’s active status update to the time someone attempted to call them?

  6. All I can say to this article is, “What a bunch of bovine excrement.” That ‘green dot’ turns green when someone messages you, when you are NOT active and haven’t been for days.When someone messages you that shows up as activity on YOUR phone app and computer if you have either open.

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