Facebook Messenger

Facebook has gone on record to state that it is not listening in on your conversations, but those coincidental ads seem really creepy. You can turn off the microphone.

If you've ever received an advertisement in your Facebook feed that was eerily related to something you were just discussing with a friend, you might be thinking that Facebook is listening in on your conversations through the Messenger app, of which you may have given permission to access the microphone when you started using it.

Facebook has gone on record to state that it does not listen in on your conversations.

Facebook does not use your phone's microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed. Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people's conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true. We show ads based on people's interests and other profile information – not what you're talking out loud about.

We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.

But, it is a really creepy coincidence when your mom tells you, in a face-to-face conversation (not via any chat method) that she needs Apple Cider vinegar for a recipe and then less than a half hour later, she sees an advertisement for apple cider vinegar (this actually happened to my mom and I). Even though Facebook says its not listening, you might be wishing you could make sure its not.

You can. Just as you gave Facebook permission to access your microphone, you can revoke that access in your iPhone's privacy settings. Here's how.

Note: If you revoke permission for Facebook to access your microphone, you won't be able to use it to send audio chats and you won't be able to share Facebook Day stories in Messenger without re-enabling it.

How to turn off the microphone in Facebook Messenger.

In order for any third-party app to have access to your iPhone or iPad microphone, you have to give permission when it first asks for it. When you first installed Facebook Messenger, you may have given permission for Facebook to access your microphone. If you'd like to revoke that permission, you can do so in the Settings app.

Note: The official Facebook app does not request permission to use your microphone, so you only have to do this for the Messenger app.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Microphone.
  4. Tap the Messenger switch to turn it off.

You should also review other apps you've given permission to access your microphone and disable any that you don't actually use its microphone feature with.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to stop Facebook from accessing your iPhone or iPad microphone? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.