Instagram, today, stands as one of the most prevalent social media platforms, continually enhancing its features to enhance user experience, fostering connections and content discovery.

Among these features lies “Active Now,” aiding users in identifying when those they follow engage with the platform. The green dot accompanying users’ names signifies their online presence.

Despite its intention, many users find this feature perplexing due to its occasional inaccuracy.

So, what does “Active Now” signify on Instagram?

Your activity status is only visible on Instagram Direct or Instagram Messenger, post the integration with the newer Facebook/Messenger/Instagram messaging system. Merely browsing through posts or stories doesn’t reveal your online status.

why does instagram say active now when i'm not

Upon accessing IG Direct/IG Messenger, you can view your chats and their timestamps. If mutual following exists, online presence becomes discernible.

“Active now” denotes the other party’s current engagement with Instagram, be it scrolling posts, checking messages, creating Reels, or merely leaving the app open but idle.

The presence of a green dot and the “Active Now” status indicates this. However, this information remains inaccessible if the user hasn’t reciprocated the follow or sent a direct message (DM) on Instagram. Conversely, Meta Facebook/Meta Messenger mandates friendship to display online status. Despite this distinction, the acknowledgment of someone’s activity signifies a mutual awareness.

Is the “Active Now” status accurate?

A discrepancy may arise where a friend appears inactive despite recent activity. Glitches and delays within the activity feature prompt such uncertainty, underscoring the inconsistency of the “Active Now” status.

Reports suggest delays of up to ten minutes in activity status updates, mirroring the Last Seen feature’s unreliability. A 20-minute-old online status doesn’t guarantee accuracy or uninterrupted activity.

Several factors contribute to Instagram’s misrepresentation of friends as “Now Active,” including but not limited to:

  • Slower or unreliable internet connection, leading to data delays or loss, notably on mobile devices or congested public Wi-Fi.
  • Personal internet issues causing delayed data reception or data packet corruption/loss, especially on mobile devices or congested public Wi-Fi.
  • User-initiated deactivation of activity status.
  • Resource constraints on the follower’s device, like excessive apps or freezing processes, resulting in sluggish performance.
  • Cache requiring clearance on the device, inducing inaccuracies.
  • Previously stored cache interfering with the follower’s present status.
  • Instagram running in the background on the follower’s device, albeit passively.
  • Prompt opening and closing of Instagram via links, causing delayed activity responses.
  • Minimization or closure of Instagram in the past five minutes, contributing to delayed status updates.

What if the green dot isn’t visible?

Despite certainty regarding mutual followers’ activity, the absence of the green dot may stem from glitches or delays. Imperfections in technology often underlie such occurrences.

why does instagram say active now when i'm not

However, the user likely disabled their activity status in Instagram’s settings, as previously mentioned.

Nonetheless, the absence of the green dot shouldn’t deter message sending, as most users enable notifications. Additionally, Instagram provides read receipts, offering assurance upon message consumption.

How to deactivate the “Active Now” feature on Instagram for Android/iOS/iPhone?

Those inclined towards privacy on Instagram may opt to disable their activity status on mobile devices. Although straightforward, this action precludes visibility of other users’ activity statuses.

The process is as follows:

  • Navigate to your “Profile” icon at the bottom-right of the IG app.

why does instagram say active now when i'm not

  • Tap the “hamburger” icon (three horizontal lines) in the top-right corner.
  • Access “Settings and privacy.”

why does instagram say active now when i'm not

  • Choose “Messages and story replies.”

why does instagram say active now when i'm not

  • Select the “Show activity status” option.

why does instagram say active now when i'm not

  • Disable “Show Activity Status.”

why does instagram say active now when i'm not

Once your activity status is off, your friends won’t view your status, and vice versa.

Understanding the essence of Instagram’s “Active Now” feature equips users with insights into its benefits and drawbacks. Furthermore, disabling the feature alleviates potential issues. However, societal overreliance on technology poses broader considerations.

What’s your stance on the “Active Now” feature? Do you favor social engagement or prefer silent browsing? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.