How Do you Know Whether your Instagram Direct Message Has Been Read?

Posted by Jamie on September 14, 2018

If you are a user of the popular Instagram social media site, you probably already know that Instagram implemented direct messages a couple of years ago. DMs took longer than expected to catch on, but once adopted they quickly became the default way to communicate between individuals or groups. The psychology behind social networks is fascinating. Usually patient, laid back people suddenly become the most impatient people ever. Those same people who would wait contentedly for someone to get back to them in real life, because, you know, life happens, suddenly turn into needy teenagers if you keep them waiting longer than 30 seconds for a reply to a DM or social media post.

So how do you know whether your Instagram direct message has been read? How do you know whether it has been viewed or even received?

How to use Instagram direct messaging

In case you haven’t used Instagram direct message, it is actually a quite useful and straightforward way of communicating within the app. It does not offer anything other chat apps don’t offer but it does allow dialog between individuals or groups around your picture postings.

You have a couple of ways to send a direct message:

  1. Open Instagram and log in.
  2. Select the paper plane icon in the top right of the app. This opens Instagram Direct.
  3. Select New Message at the bottom of the next page.
  4. Add the recipient by typing their name and selecting them from a list. The list won’t appear if you are sending a DM to someone you aren’t connected to.
  5. Write your message in the text box.
  6. Hit Send.

So far so every other chat app. The message is sent to the recipient via Instagram’s own DM system and will usually be delivered in seconds.

You can also send a message using someone’s profile. This is quite useful when you stumble across a profile with content you like or recognize and want to reach out to that person.

  1. Select the three dots in the top right corner of the person’s profile or image to access the menu.
  2. Select Send Messages from the popup menu.
  3. Write the message as you normally would in the box at the bottom.
  4. Hit Send.

This latter method increases engagement within Instagram. It allows you to DM people who you do not yet follow or who do not follow you.

Has your Instagram direct message has been read?

Like other social media apps, Instagram does tell you whether a message has been delivered and read. This is both a help and a hindrance to my mind. For those people who can send DMs and wait patiently for you to log in and read them, or have the time to reply, it’s great. For those who demand instant replies, it is not so great.

  • In a private message, you will see ‘Seen’ under your message when the recipient has read it.
  • In a group message, you will see a small eye next to the usernames of those who have read your Instagram direct message.

If you’re busy right now and don’t want to show someone you have read their message so they don’t badger you for a reply, you can stop Instagram from providing this information. It is the same method we use to stop read receipts in many social media apps. We turn on Airplane mode or turn off WiFi before reading.

Avoid sending a read receipt for Instagram direct messages

If for any reason you don’t want people to know you have read their Instagram direct message, try this:

  1. Do not open the DM when you see it arrive.
  2. Turn off WiFi and/or cellular data or switch your phone to Airplane mode.
  3. Open the message and read it.
  4. Return to your profile page or leave the conversation.
  5. Log out and then shut down the Instagram app.
  6. Turn on WiFi and/or cellular data or switch Airplane mode off.
  7. Open Instagram if you need to but don’t go back into the conversation. If you do, the app will send a read receipt.

There are many reasons why you may not want to send a read receipt for Instagram direct messages. Using this method works on Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and many other social networks. Use it well!

Are there other ways to tell whether your Instagram direct message has been read? Got any other ways to avoid sending read receipts? Tell us about them below!

3 thoughts on “How Do you Know Whether your Instagram Direct Message Has Been Read?”

dude says:
yeah, it doesn’t say seen or have the eye on mine either. guess they got rid of that feature?
Lily says:
On my phone it doesn’t say seen or show a little eye icon? The message goes up and I don’t known who’s seen it? Please help?!
Steve says:
My insta seen receipts have been gone for months. I only know if someone read my message because there’s a gap where the “seen” label would be. It even happened on different phones and on my dog’s insta account.

Any idea what this is about? I can’t find any info anywhere.


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