Instagram wants you to spend more time on its platform and one way it hopes to achieve this is by letting you know when your friends are online. For the longest time now, it has not been easy to tell who is online at a particular time unless you see then actively interacting with you or other users on the app.
Instagram wants to change that by adding a green dot that will be shown in the bottom right of the profile pictures of the people who are online and are using the app at a particular time. This is similar to what we currently have on Facebook and has been there for a while and is now making its way to Instagram. This green dot will be seen on your friend list and in Instagram Direct and will hopefully get you to spend more time on the platform by starting and having conversations with the people that are actually online.
Instagram says that it is including the green dot to let you know when your friends are available to chat. With this, the company hopes you will end up using Instagram Direct over other messaging applications including Facebook-owned ones such as Messenger and WhatsApp. For those who may not know, Instagram is owned by Facebook so the company is just competing with itself but in the end Facebook is the winner.
Instagram will also give you the option of hiding your status if you do not want people to know you are online. You will also be able to turn off the ability to see when your friends are active. You will only see the green dot on people you have already talked to in Direct and for friends who follow you.