On Thursday, Instagram announced a new feature that lets users know when their friends are using the app. “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,” the company said. (A note: Instagram says the dot will only appear for people who you follow and people you’ve previously DM-ed with.)
Does this sound like something you’re into? Great. You don’t have to do a thing. Does this feature sound like a nightmare? Would you prefer your friends not know you are ignoring them on Instagram? Great. Same. You have to do a few things to turn it off. (Previously, Instagram had a feature that showed the number of minutes since a user was last active on the app. As in, “Jordan was active six minutes ago” or “Active now.”)
Head to your profile in the app and tap the three horizontal lines in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen. You’ll find “Settings” in the lower-left-hand corner. Scroll down to “Privacy and Security” and choose “Activity Status.” The toggle will be blue if your activity status is on — which it will be by default — slide it left to turn it white and off. Instagram, if you’re reading this, I realize that this is just step seven in your mission to become The Social Platform these days, but could the next step be opt-in, rather than opt-out? Thanks in advance!