What Does “Active Today” Mean on Instagram

Did you know that you can check when someone was last active on Instagram? If you have chatted with the user recently, then you can open your conversations and see when they were last online. It is visible just below their username, near their profile picture. However, more often than not, you will find a vague figure, like Active Today or Active Yesterday. While Active Today on Instagram means just that: they have been online today. But did you know that you could determine the timeframe between which they were active?

“Active Today” Meaning on Instagram

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Interestingly, Active Today on Instagram doesn’t just mean that the user has been active today. There’s another hidden meaning to this status. Specifically, “active today” means that the user was online in the last 8 to 24 hours.

Imagine that you have recently chatted via direct message on Instagram with a user named John Doe. After a few hours, you open his conversation window to note the “Active Today” status. It means that John was last online at least 8 hours ago but no more than 24 hours ago. But what if he was online less than 8 hours ago or more than 24 hours ago? What status will you see then?

Instagram Activity Statuses

Under normal circumstances, there are four activity statuses on Instagram.

  • Active Today: The user was last online between 8 and 24 hours ago.
  • Active Now: The user was last online at most 5 minutes ago (more on this later).
  • Active ‘X’ hours/minutes ago: The user was last online ‘X’ hours/minutes ago.
  • Active Yesterday: The user was last online between 24 and 48 hours ago.

The third status, ‘Active X Hours/Minutes Ago,’ is pretty straightforward. If John’s status shows ‘Active 3 Hours Ago’, then he was last online 3 hours ago. But there’s a catch. The number of hours or minutes will only show up if John was active at least 5 minutes ago and at most 8 hours ago. If the gap increases to more than 8 hours ago, the status will switch to Instagram active today, and it will stay that way for up to 24 hours. But what after 24 hours?

If John is offline for more than 24 hours, then his status will switch to active yesterday. It will remain the same for up to 48 hours. Beyond that, no status will be shown. Now let’s check out the trickiest of the lot: the “Active Now” status.

Active Today vs. Active Now

“Active Now” and “Active Today” may sound more or less similar, but they imply entirely different statuses. As seen in the previous sections, active today indicates that the user was last online at least 8 hours ago and at most 24 hours ago. Active Now, as the status suggests, implies that the user is active at that very moment.

Whenever the “Active Now” status is shown, it is accompanied by a green dot. That is how you can differentiate between the two because Instagram active today without a green dot is shown. Similar to “Active Today,” the “Active Now” status has a hidden meaning as well. Active now literally means that the user is active right now. But that’s not usually true. Instagram shows “Active Now” even if the user has been offline for at most 5 minutes!

How to Hide My Activity Status?

You can try to hide your activity status so that others cannot view it when you are online. Here’s how.

  1. Tap the three bars in the top right corner of your profile.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Tap “Privacy.”
  4. Go to “Activity Status.”
  5.  Here, you can toggle on or off your “Show Activity Status.”

An important note: if you choose not to show your activity status, then you cannot see the activity of other people as well.


As you might have surmised by now, Instagram’s activity status doesn’t show an accurate time of activity. You can judge an approximate time frame based on the Instagram Active Today status shown. It doesn’t matter if they have unfollowed you. You can still see their status unless they have set it to private. So the next time that someone’s status is displaying “Active Now” but they aren’t replying to your DMs, don’t directly assume that they are ignoring you. You may just have missed them by a few minutes!

Maddie Schultz
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