In today’s modern age, instant messaging has become a convenient way to communicate with our loved ones and followers. Instant messaging is also available on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. These social media platforms integrate instant messaging into their system to promote social interaction and effective communication towards their users. 

Instagram also incorporate read receipts in their instant messaging to notify the senders when the recipient has received or seen their message. But what exactly are read receipts? Are users allowed to disable this feature?

Continue reading below to know more about the ins and outs of read receipts, their privacy implications, and whether or not you can disable this feature on Instagram.


Understanding Read Receipts

Instagram’s read receipts were introduced on the platform thru its Direct Messaging (DM) feature way back many years ago. They are often depicted by a small “seen” or “read” indicator, which serves as a way to tell the sender that their message has already reached, seen, or read by the recipient.  This can be very convenient, as it lets you know when someone has seen your message. Other social media platforms read receipts are denoted by various symbols including encircled checkmarks or double-checkmarks.

Read receipts provide transparency and serves as an assurance to the sender that their message has reached the intended person. Although, read receipts can also create pressure on the recipients to respond immediately, which in turn eats away the sense of privacy and control over the recipient’s time.


Privacy Challenge

Privacy is one of the main considerations in the digital world. However, many users prefer to have control over when they would interact with messages. By displaying read receipts in the platform’s DMs, the user’s privacy on the platform is somehow bypassed.

While read receipts have a lot of advantages in certain circumstances, they also do raise privacy challenges. Some IG users find it invasive that their online status and message reading habits are visible to others. Other users feel pressure to respond promptly even if they might not have the time or mood to engage in a conversation.


Can You Disable Read Receipts on Instagram?

As of the current time, Instagram has not yet provided a direct and built-in option to disable read receipts on their DMs. This means that when you open a message on your DMs, the sender will be notified with a “seen” indicator at the bottom of their message indicating that you have already seen and read their message. 

Unfortunately, there is no simple toggle button to turn off this feature yet. Although read receipts are beneficial in some situations, there are circumstances where users would prefer more discretion and the absence of disabling option would leave users with limited control over their privacy.


Other Workarounds That You May Consider

The absence of the disabling option of read receipts in Instagram’s DM would lead users to explore other various strategies to somehow work around this privacy challenge.

Below are some of the workarounds for Instagram users may consider:

Turn on Airplane Mode

You can read messages without triggering the “seen” indicator by turning on Airplane mode or disconnecting from the internet before opening the message. This isn’t foolproof and might not work in every situation. However, some IG users already tried and suggest this workaround.

Adjust Notification Settings

You can adjust your notification settings to prevent message previews from appearing on your device’s lock screen. Although this may not disable read receipts, it may help you by not notifying the sender that you’ve already read their message.

Provide Feedback to Instagram

As user preferences and privacy concerns evolve, social media platforms often listen to feedback from their users. If you feel that reading receipts compromise your choice of privacy, consider providing feedback to Instagram through their official channels, such as app reviews or their support website.


Balancing Communication and Privacy

It is vital to know that the digital world is constantly changing, and platforms like Instagram frequently update their features to better cater for the needs and wants of the platform users. Although Instagram has not developed nor released a built-in option to disable its read receipts, it is worth keeping an eye on their announcements and updates. What may not be available today could become possible in the future. 

The privacy issue surrounding Instagram’s read receipts is a nuance one and finding the right balance between the feature’s pros and cons is essential for a positive user experience.


Bottom Line

As of today, Instagram has not yet released a built-in option to turn off the read receipts feature on their DMs. The presence of read receipts can have various benefits and impacts on its users. While others may find this feature to be useful, other IG users may consider this as a threat and an invasion of their privacy. This has led other IG users to explore and seek alternative ways to manage this feature.

Although workarounds for this feature exist, they are not 100% foolproof and the effectiveness of these strategies may differ. As a user, you may explore these workarounds aforementioned above to navigate to the read receipt feature that aligns with your preferences. 

Remember that Instagram always update and improve their system so it is better to stay informed and updated with their latest developments to help you make informed decisions about your social media interactions. Whether read receipts remain a fixed feature or become customisable in the future, the ongoing conversation around privacy and user control in digital communication is a crucial one.

You may also opt to check our blogs regularly to stay in the know about anything and everything about Instagram! If you want more educational blogs like this, do not hesitate to browse iDigic’s blog site. You may also reach us for your queries and suggestions!

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