Most times before starting a conversation, out of curiosity you just want to know if the person you want to chat with, or one of your friends is online at the same time as you. And now you can if you’re using Instagram.
Starting today, as announced In a blog post Instagram is adding the ability to see when your friends and contacts are online. There are some important details to be aware of, though. First, you will only be able to see if someone’s online if they have added you back or if you have already had a conversation via direct message. So you won’t be able to see just anyone’s online availability.
To see if a friend is online, there will be a green dot next to their profile name. You’ll be able to see it in the friend’s list, when you share a post from the feed, or in the Direct Inbox. You will also be able to change your status as you see fit, so if you don’t ever want to appear online, you can make that happen.
“The goal of the feature is to make it easier for users to chat within the app. Instagram explained, “This update gives you the ability to have more of those real time conversations while giving you the control to hide your status altogether,” the company wrote in a blog post.
But while it makes chatting a little more immediate, it may also push users to spend even more time in the app. Instagram users already swap a ton of messages, and adding these status indicators will likely only encourage more messaging.
However, all this may sound a little creepy to you if you are not the type that loves chatting. But the good news is that You can decide to turn the feature off entirely. Just go to “activity status” in the app’s main settings to disable activity status. But note that you disable the feature,, you won’t be able to view which of your friends are online, either.
This feature is now live in the latest version of Instagram for iOS and Android.