How to See if Someone Is Active on TikTok: A Complete Guide

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Wondering if your bestie is scrolling through her "For You" page right now? Or maybe you want to know if your crush has seen your latest TikTok yet? I get it, we‘ve all been there.

With over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms. And like other social apps, TikTok has an activity status feature that lets you see when your connections are actively using it.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about TikTok‘s activity status. From how it works, who can see your active status, and how to turn it on or off.

By the end, you‘ll be a pro at sleuthing when your friends are on TikTok. Let‘s dive in!

What Exactly is TikTok‘s Activity Status?

TikTok‘s activity status shows you when people you follow, who also follow you back (aka your "mutuals"), are actively using the app.

It displays as a bright green dot next to their profile photo. This green dot indicates they‘ve used TikTok recently, usually within the last 10-15 minutes.

If you direct message someone on TikTok who has their activity status turned on, you can see even more detailed information. Under their username in your messages, it will say "Active now" if they‘re currently online or show when they were "Last active."

So unlike Instagram or Facebook, you can‘t see when just any follower was last active. TikTok‘s activity status only works amongst mutual followers.

A Quick Look at TikTok Usage Stats

Before we go any further, let‘s look at some key TikTok usage statistics:

  • TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide (SensorTower, 2022)

  • The average user spends 52 minutes per day on TikTok (Wallaroo Media, 2022)

  • 66% of TikTok users log in to the app multiple times per day (Wallaroo Media, 2022)

  • There are over 125 million daily TikTok users in the United States alone (Statista, 2022)

As you can see, people are clearly hooked on scrolling through their TikTok feeds. So being able to see when your friends are active can give you valuable insight into their daily habits.

Who Can See Your TikTok Activity Status?

Only mutual followers (aka friends) can view your TikTok activity status.

Here‘s a breakdown:

  • If you follow someone who doesn‘t follow you back, they can‘t see your active status.

  • If someone follows you but you don‘t follow them back, you can‘t view their activity status either.

  • TikTok also doesn‘t display activity status to followers under 18 years old. So teens and younger users won‘t have access to this feature.

Essentially, TikTok wants to limit activity status to connections who actually engage with each other. This prevents stray followers from snooping on your active time.

How to Turn On TikTok Activity Status

Want your friends to know when you‘re scrolling TikTok? Here‘s how to turn on your activity status:

  1. Open the TikTok app and tap your profile photo in the bottom right corner.

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines to open your Settings.

  3. Select "Privacy" and tap "Activity Status."

  4. Toggle the switch on to enable your activity status.

Once enabled, all your TikTok mutuals will be able to see when you‘re actively using the app. A green dot will appear next to your profile pic when you‘re online.

Pro Tip: You can also turn on TikTok‘s activity status from your profile page. Just tap the three dots ("more") next to your profile photo and select "Turn on Activity Status."

How to Disable TikTok Activity Status

Want to lurk in stealth mode and hide your TikTok activity? Here‘s how to turn off your active status:

  1. Open your profile and tap the three lines to access Settings.

  2. Select "Privacy" then "Activity Status."

  3. Toggle the switch off to disable your activity status.

With your active status turned off, your mutuals won‘t be able to see when you‘re on TikTok. You can toggle it back on at any time.

Sneak Peek: How to See Someone Else‘s Active Status

Once you‘ve enabled your own TikTok activity status, you can start viewing your friends‘ active time too.

There are a couple ways to see if one of your mutuals is currently active on TikTok:

  • On their profile: Look for a green dot next to their profile picture. This means they‘ve used TikTok recently.

  • In your messages: Under their name in your DMs, it will say "Active now" if they‘re currently online.

  • Shared videos: If someone you follow posts a new video or goes live, that‘s a clear sign they‘re active on TikTok.

  • Comment responses: If you comment on someone‘s video and they respond quickly, chances are they‘re active on the app.

Later on, I‘ll go into more detail on how to view your friends‘ activity statuses. But first, let‘s look at how TikTok‘s active status feature compares to other social platforms.

How Does TikTok‘s Activity Status Compare to Other Apps?

Most major social media apps have some form of active status indicator these days. But each platform handles it a bit differently. Let‘s compare TikTok‘s activity status to a few other popular apps.

TikTok vs. Instagram

The key difference is that Instagram shows active status for all followers, while TikTok only displays it amongst mutuals.

On Instagram, you can see the last time anyone who follows you was active by looking in your followers list. But on TikTok, you can only see the active status of friends who follow you back.

One similarity – both TikTok and Instagram allow you to disable your activity status if desired.

TikTok vs. Snapchat

Snapchat also shows your friends‘ active status, but is more focused on real-time activity.

In Snapchat, you can see a green dot next to friends who are "Active Now." On TikTok, the green dot indicates activity within the last 15 minutes or so.

And while TikTok lets you turn off active status, Snapchat doesn‘t offer this option. Your activity is viewable by friends whether you like it or not.

TikTok vs. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has one of the most detailed activity statuses. It shows you the last time a friend accessed Messenger down to the minute.

While TikTok doesn‘t get that granular, it uses active status in a similar way – to indicate when your connections are online and available to message.

So in summary, here‘s how TikTok compares:

  • More limited than Instagram (friends only)
  • Less real-time than Snapchat
  • Less detailed than Facebook Messenger

But overall, TikTok‘s activity status feature aligns with most social platforms. It gives users insight into when their friends are active on the app.

Checking TikTok Activity Status on Android vs iOS

TikTok‘s activity status works the same whether you‘re on Android or iOS. The steps to turn it on, view friends‘ activity, etc. are identical.

The green active dot may look slightly different on each device based on OS design. But the functionality remains the same.

One key tip is that activity status only works if you have the latest version of the TikTok app installed. So be sure to update to the newest iOS or Android version for full access to the active status feature.

But other than ensuring you‘re updated, there are no differences in how activity status works across platforms. It provides the same mutual friend activity tracking on both Android and iOS.

How to View Friends‘ TikTok Active Status

Ready to start sleuthing your buddies‘ TikTok habits? Here are three simple ways to view your mutual followers‘ activity status:

1. Check their TikTok profile

The easiest way is to visit their profile page. If you see a bright green dot next to their profile picture, it means they‘ve been active on TikTok recently.

No green dot? Then they haven‘t used the app in the last 15 minutes or so.

Pro Tip: Tap their profile photo to open their page for the most accurate active status. The green dot doesn‘t always show on the main feed.

2. Look in your TikTok messages

Open your messages from their profile or the inbox icon. Under their name, you may see "Active now" or "Active 15 minutes ago."

This tells you more precisely when they last used TikTok. If it says "Active now," get ready for a quick convo!

3. See if they‘ve posted new videos

Scour their profile for any freshly uploaded TikToks. New videos and live streams mean they‘ve accessed TikTok recently.

You can also turn on notifications so you‘re alerted anytime they post new content.

Pro Tips for Stalking Your Friends‘ Activity

Utilize these pro tips to get even more intel on your buddies‘ TikTok activity:

  • Check their video engagement – See if they‘re liking, commenting or sharing others‘ videos. Interactions mean they‘re on TikTok.

  • Watch their follower count – A jump in followers signals they may be active and engaging with new fans.

  • Monitor their following – If they follow new accounts, they‘re likely browsing TikTok.

  • See if they viewed your Stories – Yes, TikTok has Snapchat-like Stories! Check who viewed yours.

  • Pay attention to notifications – App notifications can reveal if they‘ve liked, commented, etc.

  • Watch for read receipts on messages – See if your messages have been read for a sure sign they‘re online.

With these bonus tips, you can gain extra insight into your friends‘ TikTok activity beyond just their green active dot.

When Does TikTok Active Status Not Show Up?

There are a few key instances when a mutual follower‘s active status may not show up, even if you know they‘re using TikTok:

  • They turned it off – They intentionally disabled active status in their privacy settings.

  • You restricted them – If you restricted their account, you won‘t see their active status.

  • They‘re under 18 – TikTok doesn‘t share activity with users under 18 years old.

  • TikTok is glitching – Rare app glitches could temporarily cause active status to disappear.

  • They were active awhile ago – If they were last active over 15 minutes ago, the green dot may no longer display.

So if a friend seems MIA on TikTok, double check your privacy settings and restrictions first. Chances are there‘s a simple reason their activity status isn‘t showing up as expected.

Is TikTok Activity Status Accurate?

In my experience, TikTok‘s activity status feature is reasonably accurate. The green dot appears promptly whenever I open the TikTok app and disappears after I close it.

Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes the active status seems stuck on even after I exit TikTok. Other times, it shows I‘m offline when I know I‘m scrolling through videos.

Overall though, TikTok‘s system seems to reliably track when an account is opened and in use. I‘d estimate the active status accuracy at around 90%.

However, one limitation is that activity status only updates every 15 minutes or so. It‘s not a real-time indicator like Snapchat or Messenger.

But for casual friends tracking, TikTok‘s active status gets the job done. Just don‘t expect down-to-the-second precision.

Why You Should Use TikTok‘s Activity Status Feature

Curious why TikTok even offers an activity status feature to begin with? There are a few key reasons it can be useful:

  • See who‘s online – Know instantly if close friends are available to chat or view your latest TikTok.

  • Find best posting times – Determine when your mutuals are most active on TikTok to optimize your content timing.

  • Connect more – Spark conversations by engaging with friends when you see they‘re online.

  • Understand habits – Gain insight into your friends‘ daily TikTok habits and usage patterns.

  • Improve your feed – Pay attention to what engages friends most when they‘re active on TikTok.

  • Share experiences – Bond with friends by reacting and commenting on content together in real time.

So ultimately, TikTok wants activity status to help you feel more connected with close friends on the platform. Used positively, it can definitely strengthen relationships!

The Takeaway: Monitoring Your Friends‘ TikTok Activity

Hopefully you now have a complete understanding of how to use TikTok‘s activity status like a pro!

To recap, remember that:

  • TikTok activity status only works amongst mutual followers

  • You can turn it on or off anytime in your privacy settings

  • A green dot means a friend has been active in the last 15 minutes

  • "Active now" in DMs means they‘re currently online

  • Comment responses and new videos also indicate activity

While TikTok‘s active status isn‘t always 100% precise, it can give you valuable insight into your friends‘ usage and availability.

So turn it on, see those green dots, and get ready to connect more with your top TikTok friends! Happy stalking!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.