While Instagram started as a simple photo sharing app, it has grown into a very flexible platform with a number of powerful, entertaining and fun-to-use features. One of these features is the direct message (DM) feature, which was added in late 2013. Since then, DMs have become a go-to communication standard for heavy social media users. For those of you who have experienced the agony of waiting a seemingly endless amount of time for a response to a DM, it’s possible to at least quell some of the waiting pains.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to know if your Instagram direct message has been read. While it won’t help you get a response sooner, at least you’ll know that the other party is aware of your post. I’ll also teach you how to flip the script as we discuss how to keep people from knowing whether or not you’ve received their messages.
How to use Instagram direct messaging
If you’ve never used Instagram DMs before, let’s first look at how they work.
DMs are very useful and simple (unlike some other Instagram features, which require their own tutorials). Instagram DMs don’t offer anything that other chat apps don’t, but having the service built right into the app can allow you and your friends to have a chat box focused on image posts without having to switch between apps.
How to send a direct message
- Open Instagram and sign in.
- Select the paper airplane icon at the top right of the app. This opens Instagram Direct and displays a list of your Instagram connections. If you have any DMs waiting for you, there will be a number on the tip of the paper airplane.
- Tap the person you want to message or tap the paper pencil symbol in the upper right corner to simply write the username of someone you’re not connected to.
- Write your message in the text box. If you want to add photos and more, choose the options from the icons next to the text box.
- Hit Send.
Instagram DMs work more or less like messaging in any other normal chat app; the message is sent internally within the app’s platform (not sent externally like with an SMS message) and the recipient can usually see the DM instantly.
Another method of accessing the DM system is to view a person’s profile. This is very useful when you come across a profile with content you like or recognize and want to reach out to that person.
- View someone’s profile.
- Select Message from the buttons in the middle of the screen.
- Write the message as you normally would in the box at the bottom.
- Hit Send.
Unlike some platforms, where messages from people who are not logged in are considered somewhat suspicious, Instagram DMs are always sent directly to the recipient’s mailbox. Instagram does this to increase the level of engagement between its users.
How to tell if someone has read your direct message
Instagram provides immediate feedback to tell you that a message has been read (or at least seen) by its recipient. If the message is private (one-to-one), you’ll see “Seen” below your message when the recipient has read it. This works exactly like the read confirmations on other messaging applications.
In a group post, you’ll see a small eye icon next to the usernames of those who have read your Instagram direct message.
Read messages while remaining invisible
There may be times when you’re just busy and don’t have time to engage with someone via DM, but still want to check out important content in their posts with plans to respond later. Since you can’t turn off read confirmations on Instagram, you’ll need to use a workaround.
While the method for doing this involves a bit of effort, it’s not too difficult. The idea is to disconnect your device from the internet before reading the post so that you can’t send read confirmations.
How to hide your Instagram activity
- Don’t immediately open the DM when you see it coming.
- Turn off WiFi and/or cellular data or switch your phone to Airplane Mode.
- Now you can open the message and read it. This will queue up a read acknowledgment to send, but it can’t be sent because there is no internet.
- Go back to your profile page or leave the conversation.
- Log out and then close the Instagram app.
- Turn on WiFi and/or cellular data or switch Airplane Mode off.
- You can open Instagram if you need to but do not return to the conversation. If you do, the app will send the read receipt to the queue.
There are many reasons why you may not want to send a read receipt for Instagram direct messages. This method works on Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and many other social networks. Use it well!
Are there other ways to find out if your Instagram direct message has been read? Do you have other ways to avoid sending read confirmations? Tell us about them below!