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If I Unsend a Message on Instagram What Happens?

Published February 26, 2024

Instagram is used by over a billion users worldwide. To provide the best user experience, the platform is constantly undergoing upgrades, with new features being added regularly. One of these is to make it possible to unsend messages.

Have you wondered “If I unsend a message on Instagram what happens?” If so, you’re in luck because we will explain the answer in this article.

Instagram’s messaging system may appear simple but it actually has plenty of safeguards that protect user privacy. There are times when you may send a message accidentally or have second thoughts about a message you have sent. The Unsend feature within the DM system provides the ability to undo a decision you may have believed was irreversible.

How Instagram Protects User Data

Instagram is a platform that must comply with laws and regulations in an enormous amount of jurisdictions. If it wants to continue operating in regions like the European Union, it must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations in place to protect user privacy. What this means for users like you is that data is treated very carefully and privacy features are integrated into the platform that protect that privacy.

You have the ability to customize your privacy settings to manage who is able to view your profile and content. You also have the ability to remove any information whenever you would like.

Notifications When Unsending Messages

Contrary to other social media platforms, Instagram provides a certain level of discretion when it comes to unsending messages. 

You may be happy to know that you can unsend a message sent to another user without that person ever knowing you unsent it. The only way they would know is if you told them you unsent and removed the message.

Note: If the person you sent the message to has viewed it, they will have known you unsent it. Also, if they have viewed it and then you try to unsend it, they will see a message that says it was not delivered, which can raise questions from that person.

Bottom Line: Unsending a message deletes it. If you sent a message to someone and later unsend it, it will disappear as if you never ended up sending it. Any accidental messages can be deleted, as can messages you decided in retrospect are best left unsent.

How to Unsend a Message on Instagram

Unsending a message you have already sent to someone in a DM is very easy to do. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on the DM icon in the top-right corner of the screen
  3. Find and open the DM conversation that contains the message you wish to unsend
  4. Tap and hold it to bring up two options: Copy & Unsend
  5. Tap on Unsend and then press OK

You have now successfully unsent a message. Once you have done this, it will disappear from the person originally sent it to. 

If I Unsend a Message on Instagram What Happens?

We have now have answered the question, “If I unsend a message on Instagram what happens?” However, we find it’s important to go over best practices for this feature.

The follow are our tips for how to use Instagram’s Unsend feature:

Avoid Overusing It 

Don’t just unsend and delete messages too cavalierly. Ideally, only use it in an emergency circumstance that calls for it. This means an accidental message being sent, sending a message to someone you didn’t mean to send it to, or something similar. If you overuse the Unsend feature, you could be seen as hard to trust. 

Use It For Fixing Mistakes

You could also use the Unsend feature if there are major errors in content you shared, be it a fact or typo, that should be correct and resend in a more accurate version.

Don’t Alter Chat History

The Unsend feature can be used to Unsend and delete any message you have sent to another person. However, avoid deleting messages with the intention of manipulating a conversation or being deceptive.

Be Respectful

The Unsend feature is not carte blanche to send rude or offensive messages to someone, or act in a bullying manner. Just because you can say something does not mean you should. Additionally, Instagram takes threatening messages very seriously, and keeps a log of them, even if they are Unsent, for legal and investigative reasons.

Communicate Effectively

If you use the Unsend feature after the recipient has already viewed the message, make sure you send them a follow-up message explaining why you deleted your message. It is always a good idea to be honest to avoid the other person becoming suspicious of you or your motives.

Conclusion

When you understand what the Unsend feature within Instagram does and how it works, you can use it when a situation calls for it, and avoid resorting to it when it doesn’t. Correct mistakes and reverse accidental messages, but avoid abusing the feature. Being able to unsend and delete a message in a DM conversation could be a great relief to you when used properly, just keep in mind to be respectful and sparing when using it.

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Written By:
AUTHOR & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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