By: Nick Gambino

Another day, another hindrance to social media stalking without the fear of being caught. Instagram just added a feature to their app that allows users to see when others were last active.

This feature has already been in play with apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for quite a while and Instagram has proven they don’t mind borrowing from other successful platforms.

You’ll see the new active note just below the usernames in the DM section of your app. It’s fairly straightforward with “Active 8m ago” or “Active 4h ago” or “Active Now.” Only people you follow or have messaged in the past will be able to see when you were last on.

While it’s a cool new feature, I guarantee there are some of you who want to keep your Instagram viewing activity private, even from those you follow. Thankfully Instagram included the ability to turn it off.

Here’s what you need to do. Open the app (go figure) and head to your profile page. Now click on the “three little dots” icon in the top right corner to go to Options.

Scroll all the way down to “Show Activity Status” and slide it off. Note the description below this option, “Allow accounts you follow and anyone you message to see when you were last active on Instagram apps. When this is turned off, you won’t be able to see the activity status of other accounts.”

So if you want to see when others are active then you’ll have to leave yourself exposed with the feature turned on. This is tit for tat. Sorry, but it’s only fair that stalking be a two-way street.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.