Just like on Facebook, it’s possible to view when someone was last active on Instagram. The feature was introduced back in 2018 and proved quite popular with users on the network. However, as you might have noticed yourself, sometimes a user’s “Activity Status” can be hidden or unavailable. This post examine all the reasons you can’t see when someone was last active on Instagram and offers a few tips to fix it.
- How to Tell When Someone Was Last Active on Instagram
- 1. They Are Not Following You
- 2. They Don’t Have Activity Status Turned On
- 3. You Don’t Have the Activity Status Enabled
- 4. You’ve Never Sent Them a Direct Message
- 5. The 25 Conversations Rule
- 6. You’ve Been Restricted
- 7. You’ve Been Blocked
- What to Do If You Can’t See “Activity Status” on Instagram
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Tell When Someone Was Last Active on Instagram
Technically, the “Activity Status” option on Instagram should show you when anyone was last seen on the app. You can view this information whether you’re using the mobile app or accessing Instagram on your PC via your browser of choice.
To get started, you’ll need to go to your Direct Messages on the app and check to see whether you can spot a tiny green dot in the lower right corner of a user’s profile picture.
At the same time, you should be able to see additional info by reading the details listed underneath the username.
The following messages give you an idea of when the user was on the app or if they are currently available to chat:
- Active X minutes/hours ago
- Active today
You should also be able to see the user’s “Activity Status” once you open their Direct Messages thread and look at the top of the window under the username.
Why Can’t I See Someone’s Activity Status?
There are quite a few reasons why you may not see someone’s “Activity Status” on Instagram. Listed below are all of the scenarios so that you can understand what might have gone wrong.
1. They Are Not Following You
While in theory “Activity Status” enables you to know when any user was last active on the app, in practice, you’re a bit limited. For starters, you will only be able to see a user’s status if they follow you.
If someone isn’t part of your followers, you won’t be able to view when they last visited the app even if they have the feature enabled.
2. They Don’t Have Activity Status Turned On
Even if the account you are viewing is following you, the user might not have the featured turned on. Instagram’s “Activity Status” can be easily disabled manually, so perhaps they’ve changed their privacy settings to not allow this information to be visible.
If that’s the case, the only thing you can do is check back at a later date to see if they’ve changed their privacy settings.
3. You Don’t Have the Activity Status Enabled
For “Activity Status” to be visible on Instagram, it needs to be enabled on both ends. You also need to have the feature activated to see another user’s online movements. Basically, if you don’t have the option enabled but the other user does, you still won’t see their status.
Basically, this works like WhatsApp’s “Last Seen” option where both parties need to have the feature active. Ensure that you’ve enabled “Activity Status” on your device by following these steps:
- Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and go to your profile.
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner.
- Select “Settings” from the pop-up menu that appears.
- Tap on “Privacy.”
- Find the “Activity Status” option and tap it.
- Toggle on the “Show Activity Status” option.
You can enable the option from your PC as well.
- Go to Instagram in your browser.
- Click on your profile picture in the upper-right corner of the display.
- Select “Settings.”
- Select “Privacy and Security” from the menu on the left.
- Tick the “Show Activity Status” option on the right.
4. You’ve Never Sent Them a Direct Message
Another reason you may not see a user’s “Activity Status” is if you haven’t yet had a private conversation with them. Even if you both follow each other and have the option turned on, you still need to drop them a Direct Message before you can start seeing their Instagram habits.
“Activity Status” is only visible in Direct. You can’t view it simply by checking your friend’s profile and glancing at their profile picture. Go to Direct instead, find your conversation with them, and you’ll know when they were there last.
5. The 25 Conversations Rule
You haven’t talked to your friend in a long time via Instagram? Then it might be the reason you can’t see their “Activity Status” in Direct. Instagram limits your “Activity Status” viewing privileges to the first 25 users you’ve most recently had a conversation with. If you want to know your friend’s whereabouts, drop them a fresh message. Provided they haven’t switched off the feature or unfollowed you in the meantime, you should be able to see their “Activity Status.”
6. You’ve Been Restricted
You won’t be able to see someone’s “Activity Status” if they have restricted you. Instagram allows users to restrict intrusive accounts without having to block or unfollow them.
This is a more discreet way of ignoring someone on the app, as it doesn’t involve removing them from your followers list. Once someone restricts you, their chats will be moved to the “Message Requests,” so you won’t be able to see if they read your messages. This also removes your privilege of knowing when they were last online.
7. You’ve Been Blocked
It’s also a possibility the person in question blocked you. Weirdly enough, if someone did indeed block you, you might still be able to see their texts in Direct – just not the “Activity Status.” It’s possible to tell when someone has blocked you. For instance, you will no longer be able to see anything they post on your feed.
What to Do If You Can’t See “Activity Status” on Instagram
If you’re not seeing “Activity Status” on Instagram, but you think you should be able to, try implementing these steps.
- Restart the Instagram app: try closing the app on your phone and opening it again. Check to see whether that has fixed the issue.
- Restart your phone: if you believe a temporary issue might be affecting your Instagram app, go for a device restart. That might fix the problem immediately.
- Update your app: if a bug related to “Activity Status” is plaguing your Instagram app, an update might fix the problem.
- Reinstall the app: if nothing above helps, try reinstalling the app. First uninstall it from your device, then go to the Google Play Store or App Store and re-download it from there.
- Double check that your “Activity Status” feature is ON: as humans we tend to forget all the time! Do yourself a favor and check again whether you’ve really enabled the “Activity Status” like you think you did.
- Send a DM – send the other user a fresh direct message. This will take care of the issue of not being active in chat with that person anymore. Also, if you’ve never spoken to them before, this will create a connection between the two of you.
- Check Instagram for PC – if all the right conditions are met, but you still can’t see a person’s “Activity Status,” then you may want to check whether you can view it on your PC. Perhaps there’s a bug with your mobile app that’s preventing you from seeing statuses.
- Investigate whether you’ve been blocked/restricted – Try reaching out to inquire about it. Alternatively, you can tell whether you have been restricted if the other user no longer shows as a follower, if their profile doesn’t have a picture, or you can’t leave a comment on their posts. You can tell whether you’ve been blocked if the other user’s profile appears blank or you’re unable to access it and can use a different profile and try to view it from there.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens to Activity Status after 24 hours?
The Activity Status lasts for 24 hours, showing you either how many hours have elapsed since the person was last online or “Active today.” The former option appears once you’ve been inactive for 8 to 24 hours. After 24 hours have elapsed, the Activity Status will change to “Active Yesterday.” Once 48 hours have elapsed, the Activity Status tends to disappear from view.
Is there any other way to track a user’s activity on Instagram?
You could try using a third-party app, such as InstaOnline (Android | iOS) that notifies you when the user goes online on Instagram. In our trials, the app got mixed results. Sometimes the app would accurately notify us when the targeted user went on the app, and other times it sent bogus notifications. Take the free version for a spin and see what it can do for you, but we don’t recommend paying for Pro.
How can I tell whether someone turned off their Activity Status on Instagram?
Unfortunately, there’s no reliable way to tell. If you are close with that person, you could try asking them. If you don’t want to, you could use the tips outlined above to rule out that you haven’t been restricted or blocked, then safely assume they disabled the feature.
Image credit: Unsplash All screenshots taken by Alexandra Arici
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