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Following Facebook's closure of their desktop IM application, I've reluctantly moved to using Pidgin.

However it reports all my friends who are idle on mobile devices as "offline" which isn't very useful and not entirely accurate.

For example, the Facebook website reports that "Fred Bloggs" is idle for 38 minutes on mobile. On Pidgin, he's reported as "offline". If I send him a message, there is a reasonable chance he will respond.

As a result, I cannot hide offline contacts (because there are people in there on mobile I want to contact) and, even if I do show them, I have no idea which ones are genuinely offline and which ones are simply idle mobile users.

Is there any way I can fix this?

  • Possibly a duplicate of pidgin always shows offline “buddies”. – harrymc Mar 14 '14 at 8:09
  • No. That problem is that offline buddies aren't hidden. My issue is that people online and on mobile are shown as offline. – Richard Mar 14 '14 at 8:44
  • The question is why is this happening. It is entirely possible that this is simply how facebook is exposing idle users via the xmpp interface in which case pidgin can't do anything about that. You will need to get the Help->Debug Window information from pidgin when a buddy goes idle (and/or from when you Get Info on an offline-but-really-idle buddy) to see what the facebook server is telling pidgin the person's status is. Get that information and we can at least see what is going on. – Etan Reisner Mar 14 '14 at 17:08
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I don't think this is possible, since XMPP's (a.k.a. Jabber, the protocol Facebook uses for its messaging service) view of online state does not contain things like »online on mobile device«. Facebook's web chat only should be capable of distinguishing this state because it has additional proprietary knowledge.

  • This could be solved if Facebook reported mobile users as online through XMPP. However they don't, so they (incorrectly) appear offline. – Richard Jul 22 '14 at 9:26
  • arg, I hate that facebook always controls which friends you see and which friends you don't. – Arne Oct 15 '14 at 17:46

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