Instagram has just rolled out a new feature that’s important for you and your kids to understand — and maybe even to disable. Eagle-eyed users of the social network may have recently noticed a tiny green dot next to users’ profiles. It’s new and alerts others that you are currently active on IG, and vice versa.
Known as Activity Status, the feature is common to a variety of apps such as Facebook, which indicates whether you’re currently online. In a blog post, Instagram described the new feature like this:
When your friends are active on Instagram, you’ll see a green dot next to their profile picture in various spaces within the app, including the Direct inbox and your friend list when you share a post from feed. You will only see status for friends who follow you or people who you have talked to in Direct.
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.
What this means: You’ll only see the green dot on profiles of people you follow and who follow you in return. (Translation: You’re not going to know when Justin Bieber is online!)
It also means that if you’re not in the chatting mood and friends can see you’re online, an unanswered DM might feel like rejection. Want to avoid the entire hassle? The good news: You can disable Activity Status. Here’s how:
1. Open the app
2. Tap on your avatar to go to your profile page (bottom right, next to navigation bar)
3. Tap on three dots to be brought to Options Menu
4. Scroll down to Show Activity Status and toggle it “off”