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Very Real

Instagram’s New Feature Will Tell Your Friends When You’re Online — Here's How You Can Turn It Off

Love sliding into the DMs? This feature's for you.

By Aditi Kini

A new Instagram update will tell your friends when you’re online — but only if you want them to know. 

The new feature will show status dots in the direct messaging section of the immensely popular social media app, and in other spaces, like your friend list when you share posts. A green dot next to contacts’ names will show up if they’re online, which Instagram says will make it easier to connect with people.

“DMing friends and connecting over the content you love is more fun when you know your friends are there to see it,” the company said.

The feature resembles one integral to Facebook Messenger, a sister app. 

It may seem like a great way to time perfectly an impromptu slide into someone’s DMs, but the new exposure may not be every user’s cup of tea. Instagram, however, has accounted for that and thus allows users to turn the feature off. 

It’s fairly simple, like most of the app: Under the “Profile” tab, open “Settings.” Go to “Privacy and Security,” and select “Activity Status” to toggle it off. 

But it’s quid pro quo: if you don’t have your activity status on, you won’t be able to tell which of your friends is online either. 

In May, Instagram announced plans to combat tech addiction by showing their users how much time they’ve spent on the app in order to “gain an understanding of how time online impacts people.” 

It’s yet to be seen how this activity status feature will impact time spent on the app.

[Credit: Instagram]