Instagram has a new feature on its mobile app. With the new feature, users can see the online status for people that they been conversing with on Direct (direct messages). Interestingly, the feature works even if the person is not following your account. Gadgets 360 spotted this feature, along with other users on Twitter who have been pointing out the sudden rollout. Instagram confirmed the feature soon after. Separately, the site has been spotted testing features like text-only Stories and a screenshot security feature.
In a statement, an Instagram spokesperson detailed the new Active feature, "We’re always working on ways to make it easier to have fun, real-time conversations with friends on Instagram. We recently rolled out the ability to see when people you follow or message in Direct were last active on Instagram, and they can see when you were last active. Activity status only appears in the Direct inbox and you can control the visibility of your activity status in Settings."
The new Active on Instagram that is similar to 'Last Seen' on WhatsApp and 'Active at' on Facebook Messenger. It can be accessed by going into the Instagram Direct messages section of the app. It shows the last time stamp when the user was online on the app; it has options like 'Active now', 'Active today', 'Active 1h ago', 'Active 24m ago' etc. To change the visibility of your Active status, users will need to go to Settings via the three-dot menu in the app, and toggle the Show Activity Status feature.
Apart from that, TheNextWeb reports that Facebook-owned Instagram is testing a new 'Type' feature that enables text-only, written Stories on the mobile app. While Instagram Stories have always been based on images and video, Instagram has been testing the new Type feature that apparently shows up next to other choices such as Boomerang, Rewind, and Superzoom.
According to the report, users can choose from different fonts, different backgrounds, and even apply filters on Type.
Another report from WABetaInfo suggests Instagram is testing out a security feature on its app. The feature will send notifications to users if someone takes a screenshot of their stories. Instagram currently notifies users of a screenshot only if the image or video is sent on Instagram Direct. Now, like Snapchat, the feature will be expanded to public stories as well.