Is Instagram Active Now Accurate?

Is Instagram Active Now Accurate? Here’s What You Need to Know

In the world of social media, staying connected and knowing when your friends are online has become increasingly important.

Instagram, one of the most popular platforms, offers an “Active Now” feature that indicates when a user is currently using the app. But how accurate is this feature, and what factors influence its reliability?

In this article, we’ll dive deep into Instagram’s “Active Now” status, exploring its functionality, accuracy, and the various factors that affect it.

What Does ‘Active Now’ Mean on Instagram?

What Does ‘Active Now’ Mean on Instagram?

The Green Dot Indicator

The Green Dot Indicator

When you see a green dot next to a user’s profile picture on Instagram, it means they are currently active on the app. This green dot appears in various places, such as your direct message (DM) list, your friend list, and the “Suggested Friends” section. It’s a quick way to know if someone is online and potentially available for a chat.

Last Active Timestamp

Last Active Timestamp

In addition to the green dot, Instagram also displays a “Last Active” timestamp. This timestamp shows the last time a user was active on the app, giving you an idea of how recently they were online.

For example, you might see “Active 5m ago” or “Active yesterday,” depending on when the user last used Instagram.

Is Instagram ‘Active Now’ Accurate?

Is Instagram ‘Active Now’ Accurate?

The accuracy of Instagram’s “Active Now” status has been a topic of discussion among users. While the feature is generally reliable, it’s not always 100% accurate. There are several factors that can affect the precision of the “Active Now” status, which we’ll explore in the next section.

Factors That Affect the Accuracy of “Active Now” Status Instagram

Various factors can influence the accuracy of Instagram’s activity status feature. These include:

  1. Internet connectivity: A poor or unstable internet connection can cause delays in updating a user’s online status.
  2. App glitches: Occasionally, the Instagram app may experience glitches that affect the accuracy of the “Active Now” status.
  3. Background app refresh: If a user has enabled background app refresh for Instagram, their activity status may update even when they’re not actively using the app.
  4. Multiple devices: If a user is logged into their Instagram account on multiple devices, the activity status may not always be in sync across all devices.

How Instagram Determines “Active Now” Status?

Instagram’s algorithm for determining a user’s activity status is not entirely transparent.

However, it’s believed that the app considers factors such as when a user opens the app, interacts with content, sends or receives DMs, and performs other actions within the app.

The exact time thresholds for when a user is considered “Active Now” or “Last Active” are not publicly disclosed by Instagram.

Comparing Instagram’s “Active Now” to Other Platforms

Instagram’s activity status feature is similar to those found on other social media and messaging platforms, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. However, each platform may have slightly different criteria for determining when a user is considered active.

For example, WhatsApp’s “Last Seen” timestamp is updated whenever a user opens the app, regardless of whether they interact with any content.

Privacy Concerns and How to Turn Off “Active Now”

Some users may have privacy concerns about their online presence being visible to others. Fortunately, Instagram allows you to control who can see your activity status. In your Instagram settings, you can choose to show your activity status to everyone, only your followers, or no one at all. If you prefer to keep your online activity private, turning off the “Active Now” feature is a good idea.

The Green Dot: What Does It Mean?

The Green Dot: What Does It Mean?

When Does the Green Dot Appear?

The green dot on Instagram appears next to a user’s profile picture when they are currently active on the app. This means they have the app open and are either browsing, interacting with content, or using features like DMs or Instagram Stories.

What if You Don’t See the Green Dot?

If you don’t see a green dot next to a user’s profile picture, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not online. They may have their activity status hidden, or there could be a delay in updating their status due to internet connectivity or app glitches.

Can You Use Instagram Without Showing Active Status?

Yes, you can use Instagram without showing your active status. By turning off the “Show Activity Status” option in your Instagram settings, you can browse the app, view content, and even send DMs without your followers or friends knowing you’re online.

The Impact on Social Connectivity

While turning off your activity status may provide more privacy, it can also impact your social connectivity on the platform. Your friends may not know when you’re available for a chat or when you’re actively engaging with their content. It’s a personal choice whether to prioritize privacy or social interaction on Instagram.

Does Instagram’s “Active Now” Feature Always Show When You’re Active?

Understanding Last Seen and “Active Yesterday” Statuses

Instagram’s activity status feature isn’t always instantaneous. There may be a slight delay between when you open the app and when your status updates to “Active Now.” Similarly, if you close the app, it may take a few minutes for your status to change to “Last Active” with a timestamp.

If you haven’t used Instagram for more than 24 hours, your status will show as “Active Yesterday” or “Active [number of] days ago.” This gives your followers a general idea of when you were last on the app, even if it wasn’t recently.

How to Disable the ‘Active Now’ Feature in Instagram on Android/iOS/iPhone?

How to Disable the ‘Active Now’ Feature in Instagram on Android/iOS/iPhone?

To disable the “Active Now” feature on Instagram, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app on your Android, iOS, or iPhone device.
  2. Go to your profile by tapping the profile icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap the three lines in the top right corner to access the menu.
  4. Select “Settings” and then choose “Privacy.”
  5. Scroll down to “Activity Status” and toggle off the “Show Activity Status” option.

Once you’ve turned off this setting, your activity status will no longer be visible to other users, and you won’t be able to see their activity status either.


Does Active Now on Instagram Mean They are Chatting?

Not necessarily. “Active Now” simply means the user has the Instagram app open and is currently using it. They could be browsing their feed, watching stories, or using any other feature within the app.

Why Does Instagram Show Active Now When I’m Not Using it?

This could be due to background app refresh. If you have this feature enabled for Instagram, the app may update your activity status even when you’re not actively using it. To prevent this, you can turn off background app refresh for Instagram in your device settings.

Can I Control Who Sees When I’m Active on Instagram?

Yes, you can control who sees your activity status on Instagram. In your privacy settings, you can choose to show your activity status to everyone, only your followers, or no one at all.

Why Does Instagram Show me as Active When I’m Not Using the App?

This could be caused by several factors, such as background app refresh, app glitches, or using Instagram on multiple devices. If you’re logged into Instagram on your phone and computer, for example, your activity status may update based on your usage on either device.

How Accurate is the “Last Active” Time on Instagram?

The “Last Active” timestamp on Instagram is generally accurate within a few minutes. However, it may not always update instantly when you close the app, and there can be slight delays due to internet connectivity or app glitches.

How Often is the “Active Now” Status Updated?

Instagram’s “Active Now” status is updated in real-time whenever a user opens the app and interacts with it. However, there may be slight delays in updating the status, usually within a few minutes.

How Quickly Does Active Status Update After Closing the App?

After closing the Instagram app, your active status may take a few minutes to update to “Last Active” with a timestamp. The exact time it takes can vary depending on factors like internet connectivity and app performance.

If I Turn Off my Active Status, Will it Hide my Previous Activity?

No, turning off your active status will not hide your previous activity on Instagram. It will only prevent others from seeing your current and future activity status. Your past interactions, such as likes, comments, and DMs, will still be visible to the respective users.

Does Instagram Allow Exceptions For Showing Activity to Close Friends?

Currently, Instagram does not have a built-in feature that allows you to show your activity status only to close friends. You can either show your activity status to everyone, only your followers, or no one at all.

If Using Instagram on Multiple Devices, Does Turning Off Active Status Apply to All?

Yes, when you turn off your activity status in your Instagram settings, it applies to all devices where you’re logged into your account. Your activity status will be hidden on both your phone and computer, for example.

Will I Still Appear in Suggested Friends if my Active Status is Off?

Yes, turning off your activity status does not affect your visibility in the suggested friends section. Your profile may still appear as a suggested friend to other users based on factors like mutual friends and shared interests.


Instagram’s “Active Now” status is a useful feature that helps users stay connected and know when their friends are online. While it’s generally accurate, various factors can affect its reliability, such as internet connectivity, app glitches, and background app refresh.

By understanding how the activity status works and the options available to control your visibility, you can make informed decisions about your online presence on Instagram.

Whether you choose to keep your activity status visible or turn it off for privacy reasons, Instagram offers flexibility to suit your preferences.

So go ahead and enjoy using Instagram, knowing that you have control over your online status and can connect with friends and followers in a way that feels comfortable to you.

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