Is it just me, or does it seem like Instagram is rolling out a new feature practically every week? For casual users (like me), it can be difficult to keep up with all of these updates and how to navigate the settings on them. The newest update added to Instagram will show you who is currently active on the app, just in a different way than before. Which is cool and all, except, what if you don't want to broadcast and open invitation for people to DM you? For those who want to low-key scroll through Instagram without being bombarded with messages, here's how to turn off Instagram's Activity Status tracker, because sometimes you just want to fly under the radar.
As USA Today reported, a green dot now appears next to friends' profile names, letting you know when they're active. This is similar to the notification that's been in place on Facebook Messenger for quite some time. Instagram is owned by Facebook, if you weren't aware, so it makes sense that this feature made its way to IG, too. So here's the deal on these green dots: They only apply to people you follow or people you have directly messaged. As for where they're located, the green dots are located next to names in your direct inbox, as well as when you're selecting from your friend list while sharing a post.
"DMing friends and connecting over the content you love is more fun when you know your friends are there to see it," a blogger from Instagram wrote on Thursday. "This update gives you the ability to have more of those realtime conversations while giving you the control to hide your status altogether."
Reactions to the new feature have been mixed. Some people aren't totally on board.
It's worth pointing out that a few people do seem to be digging the convenient, new visual.
As Gizmodo reported, Instagram users do have the option to turn off the little green dot, if they'd like. The only catch is you won't be able to see anyone else's Activity Status, either. But hey, it's a small price to pay for being able to fly under the radar, right? According to the Instagram Help Center, there are just three simple steps to do so.
1. Go To "Options"
Go to your profile and tap the gear icon to reveal your account's options.
2. Select "Activity Status"
Scroll down a bit until you see "Activity Status" under the "Privacy and Security" category. You're almost finished!
3. Toggle Off "Show Activity Status"
Finally, tap the little slider so "Show Activity Status" is in the off position. Viola! Now no one can tell if you're currently scrolling through Instagram.
If you're like me, then you appreciate a little incognito Instagram surfing — and would rather not advertise to your friends that you're currently using the app. So go ahead and shut that green dot business down, if it makes you uncomfortable. Because as parents, we all deserve some guilty-pleasure scrolling time — and there are enough interruptions (because children) as it is.