How to prevent Instagram from broadcasting your online status to friends

Facebook-owned Instagram is pilfering a feature from Messenger and WhatsApp that makes stalking people a lot easier. It’s enabled by default, but can thankfully be turned off at will.

With it, you can check out the online status of any accounts you follow or anyone you message through Instagram Direct. Like on Facebook or WhatsApp, this makes it easy to see not only when someone last used the app, but also if they are currently active on Instagram.

Online statuses appear below usernames in Instagram Direct: you’ll see friends’ most recent activity status, such as “Active x minutes ago,” “Active yesterday,” “Seen,” “Typing” and so forth.

While only the people you follow or message can see your online status, stalkers are going to love this feature (those who value their privacy, not so much).

If you have many followers on Instagram who cry when you’re not responding to their messages promptly, you may want to disable this capability—and here’s how…

How to disable Activity Status on Instagram

You can control the visibility of your online status in Instagram’s settings.

1) Open the Instagram app on your iPhone.

2) Tap the rightmost Profile tab alongside the bottom.

3) Tap the hamburger menu icon near the top right of the screen. Then tap on the Settings cog at the bottom.

4) Under the Privacy & Security tab, select Activity Status, and slide the switch labeled Show Activity Status to the OFF position.

Turning this feature off will increase your privacy by making it impossible for anyone you follow or message via Instagram to see when you’re using the service or what you’re up to.

Leaving this on will broadcast your current online activity on the service: you will be able to see when friends were last active on Instagram and they’ll be able to see your own online status.

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Screenshot top of post via Raymond Wong