Broadcasting Your Presence to Your Contacts

Your Online Presence

Depending on the client you use, you will likely have from 4 to 6 options to show your presence. People with you listed in their contacts will see a colored icon describing your presence:

  • Available, Online (green)
  • Free for Chat (green)
  • Away (yellow)
  • Extended Away, Not Available (yellow)
  • Do Not Disturb (red)
  • Offline (gray)

You can change the state of your presence at any time and doing so will be broadcast to your contacts. If you change your presence to off-line, you will be disconnected from the server and will not be able to send or receive messages.

Status Message

Most XMPP clients allow you to include a status message with your presence. This will add some additional information about what you are doing along with your presence icon.

Eve sets her presence to Not Available.

This launches a dialogue that allows Eve to include a status message.

Eve's contacts can see her status message as part of her presence.

Presence does not stop incoming messages

You can set your status to “Away” or “Do Not Disturb” with any status message you like, but people will still be able to send you messages.

Automatic Update of Your Presence

Many client programs will automatically update your presence to “away” when your device is idle for a period of time, and also to the previous status when you return to using the device. Look in the “options” or “preferences” of your chosen client to configure these settings.

Psi allows you to configure the auto-presence of the client.

Mood, Activity and Geolocation

Some clients such as Psi and Gajim support Mood, Activity and Geolocation as extensions to presence. These extensions will give your contacts more information about what is happening with you and even your physical location if you choose to include it.

In the Psi client, find mood, activity and GeoLocation in the menu by right-clicking your nickname at the top.

This image shows the dialogues for setting mood, activity and geolocation in the Psi client.

Eve's contact receives her new presence, including mood, activity and geolocation.

The Invisibility Presence

A few XMPP clients offer the invisibility presence. This presence is not yet supported by Gajim has the “Invisibile” presence as an option, but when using, this option will be disabled. Blocking is available on and is similar to invisibility.

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Last modified June 2, 2020