In a push towards enhancing user privacy, Instagram is piloting a feature that gives users the discretion to disable read receipts for direct messages, a move that could reshape the dynamics of online communication on the platform. This anticipated feature was jointly announced by Meta’s top executives, Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Mosseri.
The new toggle, poised to appear in the privacy and safety settings under DMs, allows users to shield their read status, ensuring that the “seen” label doesn’t betray their engagement with a message.
Currently, in its testing phase, this feature’s deployment timeline to the wider Instagram user base remains unspecified, although it’s expected to follow the precedent set by WhatsApp, another Meta-owned app that introduced a similar feature back in 2014.
The significance of this development is two-fold. Firstly, it empowers users with greater control over their messaging privacy.
Secondly, it signals Instagram’s commitment to aligning with the broader Meta ecosystem’s privacy features, such as end-to-end encryption, which is slated for a broader rollout across Messenger by year-end.
This move is part of Instagram’s broader initiative to enhance user experience and privacy. The platform, which has been steadily augmenting its feature set, also hinted at future enhancements like AI chatbots and generative AI-driven creative tools, which are set to introduce a new era of interaction within the app. As Instagram navigates the intersection of innovation and user privacy, the forthcoming updates are eagerly awaited by its global user community.