Most messaging apps let you choose whether or not to reveal that you’ve read a message, but there was no way to switch off Instagram read receipts. That is now changing, albeit only for some users initially …
The pros and cons of read receipts
When you send a message, it can be handy to know when the recipient has read it. If you’re running late, or need to change a plan, or have other timely information to pass on, then that tick or ‘Read’ status provides reassurance.
At the same time, there can be times when you – as the recipient – may not want the sender to know that you’ve read a message. There may be times when you want to give the matter some thought before responding.
There’s also the risk of perceived rudeness. If you read a message just as you’re rushing into a meeting, and then can’t reply to it until an hour later, it can lead the sender to think that you’re not prioritising them.
That’s why most messaging apps let you choose whether or not to send read receipts.
Instagram read receipts
Instagram DMs and Facebook Messenger are two exceptions, where there’s no way to prevent read receipts being sent the moment you open a message. But Engadget reports that this looks set to change.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri both announced the update on their Instagram Broadcast channels.
Mosseri also shared an image of how the feature will work. The option will live under the Privacy and Safety tab, accessible by clicking on the person’s name from inside the chat. From there, a section will appear called “Who can see your activity.” Just switch the toggle below and all views moving forward should then become private. However, any messages sent in vanish mode will still have read receipts.
As the site notes, there’s still a lot we don’t know. How many people will be included in the test, for example. It so far appears to be a universal switch, and we don’t yet know whether it will also be possible to choose the setting on a contact-by-contact basis.
Additionally, there’s no clue as to whether the same flexibility will be extended to Facebook Messenger.
If you’re one of those included in the test, please share in the comments.
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