Instagram users only just realising there’s a trick to read people’s messages without them knowing
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People are flooding to social media in appreciation after realising you can sneak a look at an Instagram DM without it showing as 'read'.
Whether you're not wanting a potential scammer to see you've read their message, or your pesky ex has slid into your DM's and you're curious to see what they said but don't want them to think there's still hope, this hack is for you.
The Instagram feature was rolled out a while ago in 2019, but users are only just realising how they can use it to read someone's direct message without them receiving the alert it's been seen.
Restricting is basically a less dramatic way of blocking someone. The user you restrict won't be able to tell you've restricted them - they'll still be able to see your account they just won't be able to interact with you in exactly the same way.
As per Instagram's website, there are 'multiple ways you can restrict someone' on the platform.
If you do decide to restrict an account, then three things will happen. It details: "They won't be able to see when you're online or if you've read their messages.
"Their new comments on your posts will only be visible to that person, and you can choose to see the comment by tapping See comment. If you want others to be able to see their comment, you can tap Approve, then tap Approve to confirm or you can delete it or ignore it.
"You won't receive any notifications for future comments from that person."
Instagram explains you can restrict 'multiple people' at the same time from commenting on your posts. You can also 'temporarily list unwanted comments on your post from groups of accounts' if you 'fell like you're being harassed'.
The unwanted commenter will still see their comment so won't think anything has changed, but their comments won't appear for you or anyone else.
Messages from anyone you've restricted will appear in your 'Requests' inbox and the person won't be able to see if you've opened it.
The feature is advertised as a way to help prevent the negative mental health affects caused by trolling, bulling and scam messages, but we all know it'd be handy for having a quick sneak at a message from someone we're trying to ignore as well.
If you later decide you do want to reply to the restricted account, you'll have to un-restrict them to do so.
Instagram users are flocking to Twitter to praise the feature.
One user wrote: "Restrict accounts is the best option to exist on instagram."
"Frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr," another added.
If you fancied a go at using the feature to restrict messages from a user, you open the chat with the user in your inbox and tap 'Profile name' at the top.
If you're an iPhone user, you tap the three dots and choose 'Restrict,' and if you're an Android user, you scroll down and tap 'Restrict'.
If you’ve been affected by bullying and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Bullying UK (part of Family Lives) on 0808 800 2222. The helpline service is open 9am–9pm Monday to Friday and 10am–3pm Saturday and Sunday