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What Does “Active Today” Mean on Instagram

Published April 15, 2024

If you are a regular user of Instagram and have seen an “Active Today” status, then you may have asked yourself, “What does ‘Active Today’ mean on Instagram?” This is a question many ask, which is why we are going to explain all about this activity status.

What the “Active Today” Status on Instagram Means

The “Active Today” status indicates when an IG user was last active. The following are details you should know when it comes to the “Active Today” status.

Real-Time Activity

If you are seeing “Active Today” under someone’s name when you are in your DM inbox, this indicates that they were active the same day. This could be a sign to you that they could be around to have more instant communication with you than if they did not have this status.

Showcasing Presence

Instagram likes to provide as much information as possible to users for a better experience while using the app. By showing the “Active Today” status under someone’s name, the platform helps encourage people to engage with others more.

Accurate Status 

While not providing more than a general message that someone was active within the past day, the “Active Today” status is otherwise a highly accurate message that provides valuable insight into when your friends are likely available to talk.

Note: When there is a green dot next to someone’s account, it means that they are using IG in real-time. However, it does not necessarily mean that they are actively messaging others or viewing their DMs.

“Active Today” Status Key Considerations

There are a few key considerations when it comes to the helpful “Active Today” status. These include the following:

“Active Today” Can Be Disabled

While Instagram likes to encourage transparency, it also does its best to safeguard privacy. That is why it provides a way to disable the “Active Today” status so that it can be displayed for others to see. You can easily disable this status by taking the following steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on your profile picture in the bottom-right of the screen
  3. Tap on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top-right of the screen
  4. Type in “Show activity status” in the search bar and tap on it
  5. Toggle Show Activity Status on to enable it

Once enabled, other users can see the “Active Today” status under your name in their DM inbox. 

Protip: To disable the Active Today status, simply toggle the setting back to the left.

Note: To view the Active Today status for other IG users, you must toggle this setting. 

Avoid Making Assumptions

While the Active Today status will indicate someone has been active on Instagram within the past day, it is important not to jump to conclusions. While they may have checked their IG account the day you see that status, they may not have checked their messages. This means that if you messaged them and did not receive a response, don’t assume they are ignoring you. They may not have viewed your messages, or they may not have had time to see who messaged them. Some people do not want to talk whenever they are in the app.

How to Check If Someone Disabled the Active Today Status

Now that we have answered the question “What Does ‘Active Today’ Mean on Instagram?” it’s time to dig into how to check whether someone has disabled the status.

Here is how you can find out: 

  • View Your DMs – Open a DM conversation between you and the other person. If they have the Active Today status, they have not disabled it.
  • Find the Green Dot – Look to see if there is a green dot next to the person’s profile photo. If you see it, they have the Active Today status enabled
  • Send a Message – By sending a message to someone, you can find out whether they were recently active or whether they have viewed your message through the status information Instagram provides

Why “Active Today” Is Not Showing

Besides someone disabling the Active Today status showing for their profile, there are a few other reasons why it won’t show up. Here are the most common reasons:

  • Normal Delays – There is usually a lag time for the Active Today status. This means that even though the status may appear for the user, they may have left Instagram moments earlier but the status did not reflect that yet.
  • Lack of Direct Messages – Since the Active Today status is closely tied to DMs, you will not see the status if you do not have a DM conversation open with the other person. 
  • Instagram Glitch – There will sometimes be a technical glitch in the Instagram app that will prevent the Active Today status from appealing. These glitches are usually fixed relatively quickly.
  • Account Restrictions – Being unable to see the Active Today status could also be due to someone having their account restricted because they violated one of the platform’s policies. 


If you ever wondered “What does ‘Active Today’ mean on Instagram?” you now know it’s referring to someone’s recent online status. However, depending on whether a user has the feature enabled, in-app bugs, account restrictions, or other circumstances, this status may not be visible to you

The key to being able to see Active Today for another user is to have a DM conversation open with them. Also, make sure to remember that just because someone has the status does not necessarily mean they are available to talk.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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