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like:

seen 12 mins ago

This means the profile was viewed 12 mins ago, or the last time the user take action on the website?

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2 Answers 2

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That means the last time activity was seen on the account (action on the website).

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    $\begingroup$ What is action/activity? $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2013 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ @TheChaz2.0: When you get some action, you know it. ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jul 1, 2013 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ @TheChaz2.0 Loading a page on the site (while logged in), submitting a form, that sort of thing. $\endgroup$ Jul 1, 2013 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ It should be noted that editing a question/answer does not count as activity. I lost my "consecutive days seen" because I worked on a question for over a day without checking on my profile or looking at other questions. $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    Jul 3, 2013 at 15:10
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According to this answer at meta.SO it stands for any activity, but it is updated at most once in 30 minutes. (My guess is that the frequency has been increased since then.)

More relevant meta.SO threads:

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  • $\begingroup$ nonono. I saw a lot of seen in 5 min status. $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2013 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure that I understand your comment. But if you are asking about this: Suppose you are spending almost all time on the site. If it works as described in the above link, the timestamp is updated once in 30 minutes to the current time. So your "last seen" is cyclically changed from "just now" to "30 minutes ago" . $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2013 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ oh. so my activity is right 12 minutes before the update time, then i would be seen 12 min ago. okay, cool. $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2013 at 4:17

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