In an effort to keep its direct messaging system up-to-date with the likes of Facebook Messenger and other chat apps, Instagram this week debuted a new feature that allows you to see when your friends were last online. In order to test the feature yourself, just open the Instagram app, tap on the Direct button at the top right of the screen and you can see when everyone that you have messaged within the app last logged on.
Only people who you follow and those that you’ve messaged in the past will be able to see your activity status, but the feature is turned on by default. In other words, without your prior knowledge, all of your connections on Instagram can now see the last time you opened the app. The good news is that you can toggle the feature off.
If you would rather not let everyone you follow know how frequently you check Instagram throughout the day, all you have to do is tap on your profile tab, tap the gear icon next to Edit Profile, scroll down Settings and toggle the switch next to Show Activity Status. This will turn the feature off and allow you to browse in peace as often as you like. The only downside is that you won’t be able to see when others were last online if the toggle is turned off.
This feature has been a part of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and many other popular chat apps for years, so it was really only a matter of time until Instagram adopted it as well. But many other chat apps, including Facebook’s, don’t allow you to turn the feature off. While some may prefer it, it’s nice to have the option not to use it.