Instagram has rolled out a new feature that shows you when you’re friends are online, and vice versa. This feature, known as the Activity Status, isn’t exactly unique to Instagram, but we suspect it will still cause some controversy.
Common across a range of apps and services is an indicator showing whether someone is online or not. From AIM through Facebook Messenger and on into Slack. And now Instagram has finally decided it too should add such a feature.
Look for the Green Dot
From now on you should be able to see when your friends are active on Instagram. On the flipside your friends will be able to see when you’re active on Instagram. And it’s all thanks to the green dot that will appear next to their profile pictures.
Go ahead and keep your read receipts off. I can see you were active on instagram 13 minutes ago Jackie
— Mat George (@Matchu_chutrain) July 22, 2018
This green dot, which indicates that someone is active on Instagram, will be visible in various places across the app. This includes the Direct inbox and your friend list for when you’re sharing a post from your feed.
In a blog post, Instagram explained the thinking behind the new Activity Status, saying:
“DMing friends and connecting over the content you love is more fun when you know your friends are there to see it. This update gives you the ability to have more of those realtime conversations while giving you the control to hide your status altogether.”
The good news is that you can turn Activity Status off just by sliding the Show Activity Status option to off. And while this means you won’t be able to see the activity status of other accounts, at least you won’t be exposing your activity to the world.
Increasing Engagement Levels
It’s quite surprising that it has taken Instagram this long to add an Activity Status, to be honest. Its presence could increase engagement levels, as you’re more likely to converse with people you know are actually active on Instagram at the time.
Instagram is constantly adding new features, and this is just the latest in a long line. Instagram has previously added threaded comments, a Mute button, and a Questions sticker to Stories. All of which are solid additions to an already brilliant app.