As more people start using Instagram for longer durations and varied purposes, tracking the follower’s activity becomes essential. Different data provide useful analytics about whether your marketing is working as intended or not. As Instagram is now used for business purposes, communication becomes the key where one of the data points the people want to track is when someone was last online.
In 2013, Instagram introduced Direct Messages, a chat feature to exploit the growing trend of messaging and online chats. In no time, millions of users use the Direct Messages feature as it allows you to view the time a particular user was last active on Instagram.
Instagram’s competition Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (all three are Facebook products now, by the way) already has the last active feature.
Many users feel that this indication is invasive to their privacy while others think it is downright creepy. But there is also a section of users who want to know how engaged other users are. They see the last active indication as a necessary tool. Those who don’t like this feature are primarily worried about the possibilities of online stalking.
Here you will find a complete guide on how to check last seen on Instagram on Android and iPhone.
In fact, these are the same strategies you can use to view last seen status on Instagram even if it’s hidden.
Sound’s good? Let’s get started.
Can You See Last Seen on Instagram if Hidden?
Instagram keeps the “Show activity status” feature turns on by default. This means that as soon as you sign up, the platform will start tracking and sharing your online status.
That means other users who have their “Show activity status” feature turned on will be able to see when you were last active on Instagram. But if you turn it off, you will not be able to see last seen status and when others were online.
This is similar to what LinkedIn does. If you want to see who visited your profile, you need to allow LinkedIn to record and show which profile you visit.
Even if two users are following each other, that does not guarantee that they will view the last active status. This status is only available for the users with whom you have exchanged a few messages already on direct chat.
How to Check Last Seen on Instagram
Open the Instagram Direct Messages section. Initiate a chat with the person whose last seen status you want to see. Go back to the list of conversations, and you will see the person’s last seen status and when others were online.
Here’s how you can:
- Open the Instagram app.
- Tap on the Direct Messages icon at the top.
- Initiate a chat with the person.
- Go back to the list of conversations.
- You will see the person’s last seen status.
Since this feature related to direct messaging, it is evident that you will need to access the chat area on Instagram.
Also, the status is refreshed only when you visit the DM area. If you upload a photo, your last online status does not change. For those who are concerned about privacy, this gives some respite.
How to Hide Last Seen on Instagram
Even though Instagram keeps the “Show activity status” feature turned on by default, it also provides the facility to hide last seen on Instagram.
So if you are concerned about your privacy or do not have any interest in tracking when other users are online, you can quickly turn the feature off.
This facility comes in handy when you don’t want anyone to know if you were active on Instagram chat. Of course, when you turn it off, you, too, will not be able to see the last active status of other users.
To turn off the “Show activity status” setting, click on the profile photo on the bottom navigation bar in the app. Then use the burger menu to go to the “Settings.” & select the “Privacy” option. Then choose “Activity Status.”
You will find the toggle button to turn off or on the “Show activity status” setting.
You can control who views your activity status through this setting easily. You can turn it off or on anytime, and then when you go to the direct messaging area, you will be able to see the last active status of the users, if it is on.
However, there are other ways through which someone can guess when you were last active. They can see when you posted last on Instagram. Or they can go to the notifications area using the “Following” tab and see your activity.
While there are substantial privacy concerns with the last active status, Instagram has done well to provide a straightforward way to control if you wish to allow that.
Having that control gives you the flexibility to use the feature if it is useful to you, but also protect your privacy when you want it. Use it judiciously, and you will reap the benefits.