You direct message your friend on Instagram, eager for a quick response and…nothing. Did she see the notification and ignore your message? Or is she deep in work, not looking at her phone? Instagram is introducing a new visual cue to its app to better let you know when friends are actually around to chat: a green status dot.
As you navigate around Instagram, you’ll now be able to see which friends are active in the app at that moment. Those contacts will have a green status dot next to their profile picture. You’ll be able to see this status indicator in your Direct inbox or when you tap to share a post from your Instagram feed. You also won’t be able to see status indicators for everyone—only those who follow you back, or contacts you’ve chatted with in Direct.
For those that used to chat on AIM back in the day, it’s a familiar idea (although Facebook Messenger has its own spin on this, too).
If you don’t care to know when your Instagram friends are available to chat—or don’t want them to see when you’re using the app—you can change this in your settings preferences. Head to Activity Status, and then toggle “Show Activity Status” off.
This green status dot is the latest in a steady stream of updates for the app, although many of its recent efforts have been Stories related. Instagram recently added the ability to ask questions and gauge follower sentiment via an emoji slider in Stories. It also allowed users to add music to Stories, and share others’ posts as a sticker in a Story. Perhaps Instagram has finally tapped out all its Stories-centric ideas.
For those that spend a lot of time chatting in Instagram, this green status dot should be a welcome update. Now you’ll know definitively if someone is available to chat—or if they’re ignoring your direct message.
H/T The Verge