Whenever I have a hard time falling asleep, I scroll aimlessly through my Instagram feed in pursuit of new memes. There's nothing like a good laugh to close out my night — but the feeling is even better when I can share it with a friend. Therefore, I usually bombard my buds with tons of midnight messages via Instagram Direct. Of course, waiting for someone to wake up and see the messages I've sent is usually a bummer, but the app's new feature takes the mystery away. That's right: Instagram's green dot shows when your friends are active, so you can flood them with memes and expect an immediate response.
Instagram announced its new "active" feature on July 19, and you can start using it once you update your app. After your app is updated, head to your Direct inbox. There, you'll see a list conversations you've had with your friends — but the list will look a little bit different than before. If your friends are active on Instagram while you're scrolling through your DMs, you'll see a teeny, tiny green dot on their profile picture. If they aren't using the app at that very moment, a green dot will not be present on their photo.
In other words, you can check to see if your friends are online before starting a conversation with them (or sending them memes, of course).
Your Direct inbox isn't the only place you'll see a green dot, though. According to Instagram's press page, you'll be able to see the feature in various parts of the app. For instance, before you share an IG post with your friends, you'll be able to see who's active and who isn't. It's the perfect feature for users looking for instant gratification while communicating with others on the app.
Don't expect to lurk on everyone using Instagram, though. The company made it clear that you will only be able to see green dots on certain users' profile pictures. Those users include the people who follow you and those who you've spoken with in Direct. This is good news for anyone concerned about their privacy while using the app.
Speaking of privacy, there is a way to hide your activity status on Instagram, and it's super easy to do. First, hit the Options icon in the upper righthand corner of your app (it's the icon with three small dots). Once you do that, you'll be taken to your Instagram Settings. When you're there, scroll down until you see "Privacy and Security." Then, hit "Activity Status." After choosing that button, you'll see an option where you can toggle between showing your Activity Status and not showing it. If you want to keep yourself private, make sure you turn your Activity Status off. You'll know it's off when the toggle is no longer blue. From that point forward, a green dot will not show on your profile picture.
Whether you have your Activity Status turned on or off, you have to admit that it's a really cool feature. Having a green dot on your profile picture will make yourself easily accessible for immediate conversations. Plus, it's easy to turn off when you need some alone time. Have fun with it — and don't forget to send your friends memes tonight.