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A friend of mine made a purchase I wholeheartedly approve of on Steam, and I would like to congratulate them on their wise decision. I'd also like to toss in a semi-personal question while I'm at it, so I was wondering: If I comment on a friend's activity, who can see said comment? Just the friend? My friend's friends? My friends? Everybody?

To clarify, this is where I'd like to comment: enter image description here

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    I believe anyone that can see the picture can see the comments. I know I can see comments on my friend's pictures by users that are not my friends. There may be a way to post screenshots in a private manner, but I'm unsure about that. – Batophobia Jul 13 '13 at 21:17
  • Most likely the NSA first, so if you are living or planning to visit the U.S.A. in the future DO NOT talk about blowing things up. – user51818 Jul 13 '13 at 21:21
  • @DavidStarkey That makes sense, but I was not talking about pictures, I was talking about a purchase notice in my activity stream. I'll add a picture to clarify. – Aubergine Jul 14 '13 at 8:48
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As far as I know this only depends on who's able to see the purchase event of your friend.

It might be that he set it to "friends only", so this would mean only his friends can see your comment as well. I don't think there's any added setting to determine who's able to see the actual comment (not considering it's parent "node"). You can only limit on who's able to see the whole thing and who's able to comment, but not who's able to read comments.

So if you'd like to add something like "eew you just bought limited activations Arkham City powered by SecuROM", anyone seeing that activity entry would see that note as well. In the end, don't say anything you don't want to land in public some time, cause you never know his settings (and they might change as well).

If you'd like to ask some personal/private question or anything like that, rather use the chat feature or drop a mail.

  • That's pretty much what I expected. – Aubergine Jul 14 '13 at 9:28
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For the sake of Science I tried a little experiment to see what comments I could find. The goal is to get to Game Purchased comments.

First step was to get to another user's page that is not my friend. Easy enough, but different categories. First I will get to a user that shares a mutual friend with me. For ease of explanation here is a key (basically the steps away from me):

0 = Me
1 = My Friend
2 = His/Her Friend
3 = A friend of 2, but not 0 or 1
X = No idea how user would map to me

Note that a user's can make their page private which would make anyone not on their friends list unable to see it. You can, however, still see their screenshots and such through game community pages.

I can see screenshots, videos, recommendations, inventory, badges, achievements, groups, friends, and list of owned games. I can also see the comments on their page as well as on items above. These include comments by 3 and potentially X.

The only place I found to get to the game purchases is through the Activity Feed, which I only have for myself. However, I can see comments by 2.

Now for the second user (X category). Go to TF2 community hub, pick random user. I can see everything that I can with 2 user. No differences here.

Conclusion

The most private way to make a comment would be through a recent purchase. These only seem to get displayed in the Activity feed. As far as I can tell, the Activity Feed can only be accessed for the logged in user. This means comments on recent purchases can only be seen by any of the purchaser's friends (and of course the purchaser).

The safest way to relay a private message to a user would be through the chat feature, which now works when users are offline according to it's message:

they will receive your message the next time they log in.

This testing was done using the Steam client.

  • You receive bonus points for science! – Aubergine Jul 14 '13 at 17:59
  • Uhh! A Valve topic and someone doing it for science!? Don't put any love there, that's probably GLaDOS in disguise! It's going to get us all! – Mario Jul 16 '13 at 11:05
  • There never was a cake. Only potatoes. – Batophobia Jul 16 '13 at 14:59

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