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Instagram Will Now Show You When Your Friends are Online

by Tom Bowen
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When using any chat apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, the ability to see whether your friends are online at that point of time is important; it helps you determine whether or not the person will reply immediately. However, until now, Instagram didn’t offer their users this functionality.

All of this changed on Thursday, and Instagram will now begin showing users exactly when their friends are online, or when they were last active on the platform, in the DM (Direct Messages) option. This function is available to all Android and iOS users.

In the Instagram Direct section, app users will now be able to see a green dot right next to their friend’s profile picture indicating that the person is online. This green dot indicator will also show up when users are sharing posts via DM. It is similar to the one that shows up on Messenger which, like Instagram, is a social media platform owned by Facebook.

The Background

The Direct Messages feature gained a significant amount of popularity on the app after Instagram Stories was introduced. Whenever users share a Daily Story and friends post their replies, it’s shared as a Direct Message. With the latest update, the company hopes to make Instagram messaging a seamless experience for users.

Instagram’s Update– Salient Features

Let’s take a closer look at what this update includes:

  • Not all of your followers would be able to see when you are online on the Instagram platform.
  • When a user is active on Instagram, only friends and followers that they have shared Direct Messages with will see the green dot listed next to their name, and vice-versa.
  • Aside from the green dot that shows up when a user is online, the platform will also show time stamps and another recent activity statuses such as ‘Active Yesterday’ and ‘Active 25m ago’.
  • The good news is that users aren’t compelled to use the new feature. They have the option to hide their online status. All they have to do is go into the app settings and uncheck the ‘Show Activity Status’ option.

Connecting over the content that has been posted and DMing friends and followers are far more interesting when users have visibility of whether they are online or not. This new function allows this visibility and gives Instagram users the opportunity to have more real-time conversations. As mentioned earlier, the system also provides users the control to hide their active status if required.

What Else is New?

Just last week with its updated alpha Android version, Instagram had introduced new mobile optimization support for adaptive icons which allow the app to make adjustments to the icon size based on the device it’s being viewed on.

In addition, the grapevine has it that Instagram is looking to make it much easier for general users on the platform to apply for a blue tick against their profiles. The objective is to help ease the overall verification process for users.

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