I've done some research and read some of the posts about this topic, but none of them are up to date.

The answer from 8 years ago says that accessing via the API does not count for badges:

Does access via the API count towards Fanatic and Enthusiast badges?

The mobile app uses the API at that time, so accessing Stack Exchange sites using the mobile app also does not count for badges:

Logins through phone app don't count towards enthusiast/fanatic

However, this issue of the mobile app seemed to be resolved in 2013:

Last seen not updating when using Android app

Does this mean that now accessing via the API can count for the badges?

  • 1
    It may be that accessing the API, using an access_token counts towards those badges. But that's just a SWAG that needs to be tested (by someone else). Aug 28, 2019 at 5:37
  • 1
    Just visiting the 'homepage' of the site already counts for last seen (just tested). The homepage of the app is (mostly?) network calls, they probably don't count.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 28, 2019 at 5:53
  • 1
    I would be surprised if only accessing the API would qualify, that is too easy to game.
    – rene
    Aug 28, 2019 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: access via the mobile app counts, via other Stack Apps it doesn't.

I'm not sure about the Fanatic and Enthusiast badges, but I assume they follow the same logic as the 'Last seen' indicator.

I've just simulated calls to the 'site homepage' ('last questions by activity') of the mobile app on two sites:

The one to Italian.SE was with an access token and key belonging to one of my own Stack Apps; the one to Spanish.SE was with the access token and key for the Stack Exchange iOS mobile app. For the latter, the 'Last seen' information was updated instantaneously, the former is still on 20 hours ago.

(those are Wayback Machine links to preserve the evidence; I'll probably visit those sites in the near future)

Further testing shows other calls (reading a single question, searching) update 'Last seen' too (provided they use the access token and key for the mobile app).

  • Is this still true today, long after the mobile apps became deprecated? Mar 6 at 7:53
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog no idea, and given the very limited spare time I currently have, it'll take a while before I can check it. I even doubt the tokens I have still work ...
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Mar 13 at 20:39

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