Instagram added a new activity status feature in direct messages to let people know when users have been last active, but they can turn it off anytime.
Facebook, WhatsApp, and a number of other services show when users are active or when they have been last seen. Instagram, however, did not have such feature up until now.
With the latest update, Instagram now shows a line with the user's activity status right under their username, indicating the last time the user was active on the platform. For now, the activity status is visible only in direct messages.
The activity status is turned on by default and it sparked mixed reactions, as some welcome the feature while others see it as a privacy setback.
Instagram Activity Status
This new activity status rolled out with the latest update for the Instagram apps on both Android and iOS. The feature doesn't show everyone on the platform when you were last active, but it does show friends, people tagged in your Instagram Stories, and the ones with whom you've exchanged direct messages.
Those who can see the activity status will either see you as currently active on the app or see the last time that you used Instagram. Instagram made no official announcement in this regard and this option was not among the most highly-requested features for the platform, yet it's the new default.
For those who do not appreciate the new Instagram activity status and would rather not use it, Instagram allows users to turn this feature off.
How To Turn Off Instagram Activity Status
If you would rather not have others know when you are active or not, it only takes a few simple steps to turn off the activity status.
First off, access your profile page, tap the settings gear, and head to the "Edit Profile" option, where you will find a toggle next to the option "Show Activity Status." Simply turn that toggle off, and your activity status will remain private.
Just like on Facebook and other such apps, however, it goes both ways. Turning off the activity status also means that you won't be able to see who is active, or when someone was last seen on the platform.
Instagram also added another tweak recently, albeit more subtle. To enhance the experience and make it easier for users to see who is following them, Instagram added a new indicator that makes things clearer.
When checking the profile of someone you don't follow, but who follows you, Instagram now shows a "Follow Back" option instead of the simple "Follow." This feature rolled out for Android users first, but it's now available on iOS as well.