Providing read receipts has long been a choice across almost every messaging platform. Now, one of the biggest holdouts, Instagram, is finally testing a feature that lets users hide when they've "seen" a message. 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.
Whether you open a message with a video and can't listen right away or just don't want to respond in the moment, there are lots of reasons why hiding your read receipts can be beneficial. However, they didn't say when the option will roll out to everyone or even how exactly they're testing it. Also unclear is if you'll have to turn it off for each person or if there will eventually be an overarching option.
Meta-owned WhatsApp has allowed users to hide their read receipts since 2014, but Messenger, like Instagram, still automatically shows when a message is viewed. Maybe one day all Meta platforms will allow for checking messages discreetly, but until then, we'll watch how the Instagram test goes.