Instagram announced a new feature on Thursday in its ongoing quest to dominate its competition. You’ll now be able to see exactly when friends are online with the addition of a handy status indicator.
Per Instagram, there will be a little green dot next to a friend’s profile picture throughout the app to indicate when a friend is active. This is similar to Facebook, where there's a small green dot overplayed on top of a person’s profile picture. The status will only be available for friends who follow you or people who you have DM'd.
Like most of these status indicators throughout other social media apps, you can turn it off and lurk in peace. This will keep your friends from seeing when you’re active, but it will also keep you from seeing when your friends are active. Gizmodo explains that you just head to the app’s settings page and disable the “Show Activity Status” option.
Instagram’s whole deal is to make sure that “connecting over the content you love is more fun when you know your friends are there to see it,” so it wanted to provide the “ability to have more of those realtime conversations.”
The update is just the latest in a series of big-time changes. Back in June, Instagram launched IGTV, a long-form, vertical video platform that allows clips up to an hour long, a clear nod to competitor YouTube. Like Twitter and Facebook, you can also mute annoying friends without unfollowing them. Plus, you can add music to the app’s Stories feature, which is yet another kick at Snapchat. Now if they could just bring chronological order back.