How to tell if someone is online in Signal

Signal is a private messaging application. Therefore, the functions are limited to the protect user privacy. One of those missing options in Signal is to see the status of the contacts, ie knowing if they are online and if not, when they were last online. In short, it’s not possible to know if someone is connected to Signal or not.

However, the service offers some information that can help solve this problem. Thanks to the read receipts, you can find out indirectly whether your friends are online. There are four different states of signal messages:

  • From you. The icon next to the message is a circle with a dotted border. It means the message is about to be sent. In other words, she’s just exiting your device.
  • Posted. The icon that appears next to the message is a circle and a check mark. It confirms that the message was successfully sent to the recipient.
  • delivered. The icon that appears next to the message is two circles with tick symbols inside. It indicates that the message has already been transferred to the recipient’s device.
  • Had read. Represented by two dark circles with tick symbols inside, it testifies that the recipient has read the message. This status is the best indication that the other user is online, or at least has been online recently.

Although these icons are useful for knowing whether another user is online or not, the truth is that they are not always visible. Why? Because signal it allowed to disable read receipts in the application settings. If the contact has disabled them, you can only see if the messages were sent and delivered, not if they were read.

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