After announcing that it was coming last November, Instagram has this week rolled out the capacity for users to switch off read receipts for their DMs, so you can control when “Read” and “Seen” indicators appear (or don’t) for the sender within message streams.
As you can see in this example, you can now switch off read receipts via your IG Direct inbox, so if you don’t want people to see that you’ve read their DM, you can just remove the “Seen” notification, and keep them in suspense.
The setting is available within each individual chat. To activate the new option, you can tap on the users’ name (or group chat name), then select “Privacy & Safety” and toggle off “Read Receipts”.
It could be a handy way to avoid unwanted angst over your lack of reply, with some people getting a little antsy if you don’t respond within an adequate time after seeing a message.
Though most people understand that you’re not going to reply straight away, but still, if this causes you unwanted drama from certain friends and family, you can now avoid it by turning off these notifications.
You can also turn off read receipts for all users in your “Messages and Story Replies” settings, so there is a way to avoid having to turn this off for each individual chat.
But either way, you now have more options for deactivating those pesky notifications, which can land you in hot water with some who expect a priority response.
It could also be handy for brands, in managing customer expectations. I mean, of course, you should be striving to reply to customer queries as soon as you can, but maybe, if you switch off read receipts, that could also limit angst.
It’s been a much-requested update for some time, and now you can alleviate another element of stress within your social media interactions.