Instagram’s New Feature Is Bad News If You Like Privacy

If you find Facebook Messenger’s “Active Status” feature to be a bit creepy, we have some bad news. Instagram has now also become more stalker-friendly, adding an active-status report to its direct messages as well.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, your friends and followers can now see when you last used the Instagram app—so ignoring messages is now out of the question … at least if you care about the feelings of the person messaging you.

When you open the direct messaging portion of the Instagram app, you’ll now see it shows the last time your friends were active on the app right next to the last message you exchanged. Here’s what it looks like:

Kaitlin Gates

It’s a great feature if you’re anxious about someone not responding to you—but not so great if you’re purposely not responding to someone. If you aren’t a fan of the new Instagram feature, you are not alone. Twitter lit up after the new update, with many people—especially females—saying they’re not exactly happy about it.

This move should come as no surprise though, considering Facebook Messenger has had its active-status feature for some time now and Facebook now owns Instagram. Luckily, there is a way to turn off the active status on Instagram—and it’s pretty simple.

How To Disable It

Go Instagram’s app settings, and then scroll down to “Show Activity Status.” From there, just flip the switch and other users can’t see when you were last active.

Kaitlin Gates

But turning it off also means that you won’t be able to see the status of other users. So if you’re into stalking but not being stalked—you have a decision to make.

If you’ve turned off the new feature but are still looking for even more privacy, you should also make sure your Instagram account is private by switching on “Private Account” in the same settings menu. When your account is private, only people you approve can follow you.