You may have noticed that Instagram has added a new direct messaging feature. The bad news: it's a little intrusive. The good news: you can easily change your settings to turn it off.
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The new feature is a status activity notification in Direct. It shows you when the people you message were last active on Instagram—very similar to the ones in Facebook's Messenger app.
The notifications can be seen in your Instagram inbox in light grey text under a user's name. The notifications are real-time updates, like "seen," "typing," "active today," or "active 28m ago."
If you're the nosey type, you're probably going to love spying on your friends. But sorry to break it to you—those same people can also see when you were last active, which doesn't give much wiggle room as far as taking your time to respond to messages. It certainly adds to the guilt of not returning a message at all. Plus, do you really want people seeing how often you're active on Instagram?
To turn off the feature, head over to settings on your profile page. Scroll down to "Show Activity Status" and toggle the feature off. This will make your activity invisible to everyone you message, and it'll also make their activity invisible to you.
So, now you can continue ignoring the messages you don't feel like responding to, as well as scrolling through Instagram in private.