What Does The Red Dot Mean On Instagram?

The red dot on Instagram means that accounts that you have enabled notification for, have posted photos that you haven’t seen.  If the people you follow in Instagram update their accounts as often as my friends, you may want to turn off notifications.  Last week, Instagram celebrated its 6-year anniversary.


Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 and since then the app has been through some significant changes.  With nearly 2 billion active users, Facebook can do anything it pleases and Instagram is following suit.  The image messaging app’s algorithm changes led users to beg their followers to turn on notifications and now we’re seeing how problematic alerts can be.

What Does The Red Dot Mean On Instagram?
What Does The Red Dot Mean On Instagram?

We stopped reading emails when spam flooded our accounts decades ago.  Getting someone to read an email these days is like pulling teeth.  We want full control of the content we see and don’t see.  Notifications force our hands, making the content we consume less enjoyable.

Here’s how Twitter responded to the red dot:

Instagram’s mission statement is to capture and share the world’s moments.  Unwanted notifications are not required to accomplish that mission.  Making changes in an attempt to keep users on the app for extended periods of time does not help the company capture and share the world’s moments.
The changes help the company charge more for advertising.  The intent of the notifications is a better user experience which leads to more time spent on the app.  More time spent on the app means companies are willing to spend more money to place their ads in our feeds.


By Jason John

Jason John is based in Maryland and covers Empire BBK’s News and Entertainment. He was previously a producer for the mobile site, helping to present Empire BBK’s news report to readers. More