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A new Instagram feature will let you know when your friends are online

Don’t worry, there are also ways to turn the feature off.

instagram friends online
Image: Instagram

Instagram has added status dots to the photo-sharing app, so you’ll always know when your friends or followers are online and available to chat. When they’re available, you’ll see a green dot next to their profile picture in the Direct inbox and on your friend list when you share a post from the feed.

As Instagram explains, the new status dots only show up for friends who follow you or people who you have talked to in Direct. You can also hide your status and turn off the ability to see when your friends are active in the app settings.

It explains,

DMing friends and connecting over the content you love is more fun when you know your friends are there to see it. This update gives you the ability to have more of those realtime conversations while giving you the control to hide your status altogether.

In recent weeks, Instagram has added a number of new features to enhance its service.

Just a few weeks ago, the Instagram app introduced “You’re All Caught Up,” a note that shows up once you’ve seen every post on your feed from the last two days. It also (finally) added chat so you can directly communicate with your Instagram friends.

The service also added a Topics feature on the Explore tab. From here, you can find personalized channels tailored to your interests. Sample channels include Art, Sports, Beauty, Fashion, and many more. It also introduced an all-new video-centric app called IGTV, which it hopes will help it compete with YouTube.

What’s your favorite new feature on the social site? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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