The good news is that it seems that this is a feature that Instagram has decided to roll out to users. Yup, if you wanted to see if your friends are online, Instagram is now rolling out that feature for you. According to Instagram, “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.”
Prior to this, Instagram sort of had a similar feature in Direct, where it showed when the user was last active or if they are active now, but as you can see in the screenshots above, the new feature now gives users a status indicator similar to that of Messenger (which shouldn’t be surprising given recent events). For those who don’t want this feature, you’ll be pleased to learn that this is something that you can disable.
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