We Can't Tell If Instagram's Latest Update Is Creepy Or Informative — But We Feel Seen

In an almost silent release, Instagram has added the ability to see when someone was last active.

In a world filled with read receipts on Facebook Messenger and even text, the feature doesn't come as a complete surprise. But with all the silence about the update, it definitely feels a little creepier.

You can now find a person’s activity by checking underneath their name in Instagram’s DMs. In gray writing, the app gives you the amount of time that has passed since a person was last online, or if they’re “Active Now”. It also shows when a person has read your message or is typing a reply – yikes!

According to The Verge, this only applies to people you follow and have DM’d – not your followers. But if you’re still not into people seeing when you’ve last been stalking your ex or a celeb, Instagram gives you a way out.

While you can’t disable the read receipts part of the new update, you can turn off your activity status. It works a little bit like turning off Facebook Messenger’s activity status, which you do by going to the “People” tab, clicking “Active,” and switching off the toggle button next to your name.

In Instagram, you can turn the activity status off in the settings part of your profile. Once in settings, scroll down until you find “Show Activity Status”. Switch the toggle button next to it off so that it’s gray instead of green.

Just know that once you turn off your activity status, you also turn off your ability to see other people’s activity status. Instagram is keeping it fair!                                                                                          

If this sounds like an episode of Black Mirror, you’re not wrong. But a spokesperson for Instagram defended this latest update when speaking to The Sun, “We're always working on ways to make it easier to have fun, real-time conversations with friends on Instagram.”

And this is definitely not the last of the updates we’ll be seeing on Instagram in 2018. As engagement and influencers rise, the platform for sure has more tricks up its sleeve. But for now, we’ll leave you with this debate: activity, creepy or informative?