Instagram Will Now Show When Your Friends Are Available to Chat

Instagram has had the ability to direct message other folks on the platform for quite some time, but now the feature is getting a bit more helpful in letting you know who’s actually available to talk.

Announced on Thursday, Instagram is rolling out a new feature that will let you know when your friends and contacts are online and available to chat. Now, within the app at various areas, when a contact is online and using the Instagram app, there will be a noticeable green dot next to their name. That green dot will only be visible with folks who you have spoken to in a DM before, or with your friends/contacts who have followed you back.

So you won’t be able to see if some random person on Instagram is online or not, just by going to their profile.

“When your friends are active on Instagram, you’ll see a green dot next to their profile picture in various spaces within the app, including the Direct inbox and your friend list when you share a post from feed. You will only see status for friends who follow you or people who you have talked to in Direct. You can easily hide your own status and turn off the ability to see when your friends are active in your settings.”

Instagram says this is meant to give users more of a real-time feel to communication on the platform moving forward. Now you will know if the person you are trying to get in touch with is even using the app at the same time. What’s more, Instagram is also giving users the ability to hide their status, too. So if you don’t ever want to appear online, you can make that be the case.

This new feature is available now in the latest version of Instagram.

Our Take

This had to be a long time coming. It’s certainly AIM-like, but considering AIM got the axe back in late 2017, it’s probably anyone’s game at this point to just have a green dot next to a username to signify if they’re online or not. Instagram itself has been on a bit of a tear lately, adding new features on a semi-regular basis. Most recently it added the ability to include a “question sticker” into Story posts, and before that the social network added the ability to put music in posts, too.

[via Instagram]