Active on TikTok: How to Tell if Someone Is?

Here’s how to tell someone is active on TikTok:

Using the built-in features of TikTok, you cannot reliably tell when someone is actively using the app. 

There is no status indicator or other feature that informs you of what other users are currently doing. 

There are ways to infer when someone is online, and there are workarounds that might prove enlightening.

So if you want to learn all about ways to check if someone is active on TikTok, then this article is for you.

Let’s get started!

Active on TikTok: How to Tell if Someone Is? (All the Info)

How Does a User Tell Whether or Not Someone Is Active on TikTok? (2 Ways)

Let’s start by clarifying what it means to be active on TikTok. 

Any time a user is logged into the TikTok app on their phone (or any other device) that is enough to be considered active. 

TikTok is interacting with the device directly, and data can be created and collected from the interaction.

This differs from other popular social media sites like Facebook or Messenger. 

Those apps provide a visible status that says when users are “active.”

Typically a colored dot appears next to a user’s name to indicate their activity status.

With TikTok, there is no such dot or indicator. 

The app is not designed to let a user know when other users are logged in or actively using the app or site. 

There is also nothing that says anything along the lines of “x user has been online since 20XX.”

TikTok goes even further with the mystery.

It does not provide timestamps for videos that are posted. 

You can’t easily determine when a video was originally uploaded just using the app’s features.

The only obvious way that TikTok allows you to see the activity of other users is with live streaming.

 TikTok does differentiate between live broadcasts and recordings. 

So, if someone is currently live streaming, you know that they are active on the site.

This ultimately means that if you’re trying to keep up with how active another user is, you have to try harder than with most social media apps.

#1 TikTok Notifications

Cheerful woman taking a video of herself while doing yoga.

Notifications are something that you can use with a little bit of thinking and strategy to infer when people are online or not.

It’s pretty simple. 

TikTok notifications work just like any other social media app. 

While you’re using the app, it can send you a signal that you have received a new like, comment, mention follow, or other interaction.

In fact, notifications can push through to your device even when you aren’t actively using TikTok.

You can probably see how this helps you determine when someone else is active. 

If you receive a notification in real-time, then you know that the person who interacted with you was logged on and active in order to do the thing. 

You can’t like videos, share them, send messages or do anything else on TikTok that would trigger a notification unless you are logged into the app.

#2 Use an Older Version of TikTok

Content creator.

This is more than a little complicated, and there will come a time when it will probably stop working.

With that said, you can try installing an older version of TikTok in order to see more direct activity. 

You see, TikTok didn’t always hide user statuses and things of that nature. Those changes went into effect in June of 2020. 

So, if you can install an older version, you can still potentially see that data and know who is active at any given moment.

The first challenge is finding an older version of TikTok. 

You might be able to find it from third parties on the internet, but you won’t get an older build from the administrators of TikTok itself.

They don’t support older versions.

When you do find a version, if it is compatible with your device, you can run through the installation. 

Before that, you will probably need to remove the current version of TikTok if you already have it installed. 

The two versions will compete with each other and potentially cause any number of errors, so it’s best to have no version when you start your installation.

When you do install the older version, you can potentially see the same identifiers that were once in place. This will let you know when people are actively online. 

It will show you who has visited your profile and there are other interactions that have been removed over the course of TikTok’s history.

Even after going through all of this, you may run into trouble. 

TikTok servers are designed to work with up-to-date devices. 

Your old build may be denied access to the servers. It may run into other problems and not work properly.

If you’re really determined, you can look for third-party workarounds for this. 

You’re extremely deep in the woods at this point, but such workarounds include bits of software that would enable you to use your older version of TikTok and see who is active. 

Future updates will likely make it so these workarounds stop functioning.

Why Is It So Hard to See Whether Somone is Active on TikTok?

Clearly, TikTok is trying to make it hard to see who is active, who has visited you, when things happen, and a lot of other typical user data.


According to TikTok, this is about privacy

If you can’t see as much about the activity of other users, their privacy is better protected. 

This is a small step in the direction of better privacy protection, and TikTok is committed to improving its reputation as a social media resource that does protect privacy.

Beyond these statements, one can make a few speculations. 

It is possible that the developers at TikTok want it to be harder for users to track each other and figure out who made content first or where videos truly originate. 

One could only guess at the motivations, but TikTok is known for creating viral content at a higher rate than any other social media app. 

It’s possible that the lack of timestamps and other visual indicators actually makes it easier for more content to go viral at a higher rate.

It’s also possible that it’s related to an unpublicized philosophy of governing content at TikTok. 

No one is really sure, but there are likely internal conversations as to why this extra layer of mystery is important.

Is It Safe to Buy From Tiktok Ads?

Smiling Afro woman in headphones using cellphone.

Surely you have come across a TikTok ad at least once.

Whether or not you recognized it as an ad is another matter, though.

Anyway, how safe is it to buy from TikTok ads?

The answer is that it really depends on the ad and the product or service being promoted. 

There are plenty of legitimate ads on TikTok, and buying from them is perfectly safe and an easy way to get things that you want. 

There are also a lot of scams on TikTok, so it’s important to be able to recognize scams.

Learn all about whether it’s safe to buy from TikTok ads here.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.