Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with millions of users checking in daily. Recently, a major change has taken place on this platform – users are now seeing that their “active now” status appears, even if they’ve not opened the Instagram app. This article will explore in detail what this change is, why Instagram is doing it and how it affects users.
1. What is the Instagram “Active Now” Feature?
The Active Now feature on Instagram is a useful tool to see when people you follow have been active recently. It shows up as a green circle beside their profile picture in the Direct Messages page and individual chats. When someone actively uses Instagram, the green dot will appear next to their name.
Using this feature, you can get an indication of when your friends or followers are available or online. Additionally, when looking at another user’s profile, you can also check when they have seen your posts or messages recently. This gives you insights about how active that person is on Instagram.
The Active Now feature is enabled by default and you can disable it anytime simply by going to your Settings » Privacy & Security » Activity Status. Once the activity status is turned off, the green dot will not show up when you are browsing the Instagram app.
2. How Does Instagram Know You’re “Active Now”?
Instagram’s “Active Now” feature is fairly straightforward – it’s a badge that shows when someone is actively using the platform. It can be seen in certain places in the app, such as the Direct Messages screen and in the stories view. But it’s not always on – so how can Instagram tell when someone is in fact active?
Instagram doesn’t provide users with exact details on how it knows how “Active Now”, but it’s likely based on certain actions within the app. This is probably why the “Active Now” feature is on when someone is:
- Commenting on posts or sending messages
- Posting their own stories
- Searching for posts or accounts
- Scrolling through their feed
Of course, this is just speculation. It seems likely that Instagram is looking at a user’s activities on the app to determine when they’re “Active Now”, and they’re likely not just looking at one action, but the combination of all of the aforementioned activities.
3. Impact of the “Active Now” Feature on Users
The “Active Now” feature on social media platforms allows users to see when their contacts are online or when they are last active. This helps in knowing when someone will be most likely to answer messages or participate in activities, making communication on the platform more efficient.
Immediately after the “Active Now” feature became available, users felt empowered by the ability to stay in touch with their contacts quickly. They could socialize more and speak with more people at the same time, leading to deeper and more meaningful interactions.
Additionally, it allowed users to coordinate their messaging activities better, as they knew when their contacts would be online or away. This meant a more organized approach to communication, and avoidance of possible social faux pas. As the “Active Now” feature proliferated on various social media platforms, it has become a ubiquitous part of social media. Users now feel incomplete without it, as it has become so deeply embedded in the communication process.
4. Ease of Overuse or Misuse of “Active Now” Feature
Facebook’s ‘Active Now’ feature allows users to see who is active on the platform at any given time. While this is a useful feature for monitoring who’s online and staying in contact with one another, it unfortunately can lead to overuse or misuse.
The primary concern in overusing or misusing the feature is potential invasion of privacy. If users check too frequently or pay too much attention to when someone is online, it can create tension or worry the other party. Unnecessary pressure to answer messages or alerts can disrupt the normal use of the platform.
Another reason to be mindful of overuse and misuse of ‘Active Now’ is that it can lead to cyberbullying or cyberstalking. The ease at which users can repeat accessing the feature can become intrusive and, as a result, create issues such as privacy violations. In such situations, it is important to be aware of the consequences and use the feature accordingly, such as checking it once in a while and not making any hasty assumptions.
5. How to Turn Off or Adjust the “Active Now” Feature
The “Active Now” feature on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, allows users to be more available and accessible to each other. However, it may be necessary to adjust or turn off the feature to protect private information or to prevent unnecessary notifications.
Here are some ways to turn off or adjust the “Active Now” feature:
- Open the settings menu
- Find the “Active Now” settings
- Set the “Active Now” status to off or only friends
If it is still necessary to inform others that one is online despite setting the “Active Now” status to off, the feature can be adjusted to be invisible for certain times. For Facebook, this setting is called “Turn Off Active Status” and for Instagram it is called “show Activity Status”.}
It is important to understand why Instagram shows “Active Now” even when users haven’t opened the app. Knowing the source of this feature allows users to better manage their notifications in a way that works best for them. It also allows an understanding that any notifications sent to you may remain visible for some time even if you are not actively using the app.