This is What the Blue Dot Next to a Username Means on Instagram

Have you ever seen a blue dot next to the username of someone you follow on Instagram, whether it was in your search history or search results? This is one small part of an update that Instagram rolled out a couple of years ago. However, the blue dot hasn’t always appeared on every operating system and every device.

Certain Instagram users might notice a small blue dot on the left side of particular usernames when they enter their search history, or in the search results while looking up other users. While it may seem like these dots appear at random, that’s not actually the case.

What does the blue dot mean?

Even though many Instagram users have suggested that the blue dot indicates when other users are online, this handy dot actually has a more specific function.

The blue dot next to a username on Instagram actually means that the particular person has a number of posts on their feed you haven’t yet seen, whether they’re images or videos. Once you view the profile with the blue dot, and their new posts, the dot will no longer appear next to their username in the search.

Although the blue dot was likely introduced as an updated notification system that allows users to track the activity of certain people they follow, many Instagram users found this update more irritating than useful.

Different blue dots on Instagram

Those who are using Instagram on older versions of iOS might also notice a blue dot appear next to the Instagram app icon on their homescreen as well. This dot simply indicates that your app has recently been updated.

Once you open the Instagram app for the first time after these new updates, the blue dot will disappear from your homescreen.

Even though some Instagram users were quite annoyed with the appearance of the blue dot, this feature turned out to be particularly helpful to others, allowing them to gain followers and grow traffic on their Instagram account.