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Ghost without guilt: Instagram’s forthcoming incognito mode

The possibility of a future Instagram where you can lurk in peace, free from the chains of the ‘seen’ zone is coming.

Instagram dm read receipts mockup on a smartphone with a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

You know that dreaded moment when you’re caught red-handed because you’ve read a message and didn’t reply immediately? Instagram is finally catching on to our collective plea for a bit of incognito mode in our chats.

How so? Instagram is testing the waters with a new toggle that lets you disable those pesky read receipts in direct messages.

Both Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Mosseri, the head honchos at Meta and Instagram, spilled the beans on their Instagram Broadcast channels, giving us a sneak peek at what freedom might look like.

And by freedom, I mean the sweet liberty of reading a message without the sender knowing you’ve seen it.

Instagram is testing the ability to turn off read receipts in DMs

No word yet on whether Messenger will join the party, but fingers crossed.

Twitter’s abuzz with users split between celebrating the upcoming feature and reminiscing about the good ol’ days of accountability. While some are ready to embrace the power of choice, others are prepping for a new era of ghosting.

But hey, at least now it’ll be a choice.

Keep an eye out for disappearing ‘seen’ indicators or that one friend who suddenly stops replying to your event invites. According to a source who found early code for this feature in August, here’s what the settings page could look like.

For now, we wait, watch, and wonder when we’ll get to toggle our way to DM nirvana. Representatives for Instagram were as elusive as a read receipt in stealth mode, offering no immediate comment.

We’ll keep our eyes peeled and our DMs open for any updates.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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