Instagram direct message mystery
June 20, 2016 6:00 PM   Subscribe

How can I be sure a person read the message I sent them recently? I follow them, they don't follow me. The "seen" or "eye-with-username" icon under my message is nowhere to be found BUT the person liked one of my pictures yesterday, so I assume they did read it...? Otherwise they definitely wouldn't have checked out my profile. More details inside.

So, I follow Person on Instagram, but they do not follow me or know me personally or any of my Instagram friends.

I sent them a direct message a few days ago and last night I got a "like" from them on one of my photos, so I ran to check if they had replied to my message, but to my surprise, the message doesn't even seem to have been read... there's no "seen" or any sort of "message read" icon under it like it usually does.

I couldn't find anywhere online if it's possible to choose not to show whether you read a message like you can do with Whatsapp, for example. Maybe it is?

Now, this gets complicated because of... feelings. Basically, I'm dying to get an answer in written word from this person, so I am trying to figure out if :

a) it's possible that, not being a follower of mine, they could have not read my message but still could see that I sent them something and they proceeded to check out my profile out of curiosity.

b) it's possible that they've read it but for some reason I don't get to see the "seen" icon.

c) in the case that "A" or "B" are possible... WHY WHY would they bother to like a photo but didn't answer my message (!!!)

I know, I know, this question should only be asked by people under 17, but what can I do...? that "like" messed me up; complete "silence" would have been easier to deal with.
posted by divina_y_humilde to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Recently sent a DM to someone but they didn't reply for a few days because they didn't notice. It's easy to miss - it's not included in your notifications, and only shown in the upper right which is only seen when you are on your main photos page, but not when you are looking at your profile or other's.

I don't know the context here, but maybe comment on one of their photos as a followup? Like "Hey @[person] check your inbox!"
posted by pando11 at 6:23 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Don't tell them to check their inbox. If they are interested, they will follow up. They probably clicked like on one of your photos out of politeness. I know it is easier said than done, but stop obsessing over it.
posted by missmerrymack at 7:40 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding scrittore. The specific text on DMs from people you don't follow is "Do you want to let [username] send you messages from now on? They'll only know you've seen their request if you choose Allow." But you can see what they sent and you can tap in to see their profile.

I can't tell you why the person would like your photo but not respond. Could be playing with you (if this is a flirty-type situation), could be that they tapped into your profile and then forgot about the message entirely. Could be they got a call right after seeing your profile and then had to fly to Borneo for a top secret underwater rescue mission!
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:52 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

If I got a message from someone I don't know (and it wasn't an obvious junk account, and assuming I'm not someone who gets too many such messages to even pay attention) the first thing I'd do is click through to their profile. I'm guessing your person did that, saw your recent photos, and liked one of them.
posted by Songdog at 3:08 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Instagram DMs are unreliable, in my experience. Very easy to miss new ones, sometimes they don't appear at all. I wouldn't assume that they either saw or ignored the message.
posted by third word on a random page at 6:14 AM on June 21, 2016

I didn't even know there are DMs on Instragram until I read your question. Went to look on the website, and you don't even (apparently) see them there. ONLY on the app. When I checked the app I saw 2 things: 1) that I had DMs I had never seen and 2) that I could turn on notifications to be alerted when I receive a DM.
posted by terrapin at 8:24 AM on June 21, 2016

Great answers so far, thank you guys!

I'm going all Sherlock Holmes on question (c), since that's the one that remains unanswered and baffles me the most. I know it will remain a mystery unless this person eventually replies to my DM, but I need to keep entertaining options to calm my anxiety.
I am 99% sure the person noticed the DM because there's no other way they would've seen my profile.
This isn't a flirty-type situation, so if they declined the DM they didn't have to bother liking stuff to be polite.
One last question and I'm out: Can they read the full message before/after declining it?
posted by divina_y_humilde at 6:08 PM on June 21, 2016

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