Are Your Messages Visible To Someone You’re Not Friends With On Instagram?

Instagram logo
Instagram logo

Yes! Your messages become visible to someone you don’t follow on Instagram only if they have enabled the message request option in their account settings.

Instagram is a well-known social media networking platform that enables users to follow each other and engage with likes, comments, and DMs. The platform offers a wide range of captivating features that keep users hooked, with a strong emphasis on the visual aspect. Moreover, user privacy is given the utmost priority on Instagram.

In this article, you’ll find comprehensive information about messaging users you don’t follow. Continue reading to have all your questions addressed and discover accurate information.

Can You Send Messages To A Private Instagram Account You Don’t Follow?

People often wonder about this question due to the close relationship between Instagram and Facebook since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram. Given that Facebook provides users with the ability to control who can message them, you have the option to restrict non-friends from sending you messages on Facebook. Since many changes have been made to align the two platforms, users are prompted to wonder if Instagram has adopted Facebook’s messaging privacy features.

Similar to other similarities between Instagram and Facebook, Instagram also provides users with the ability to control who can send them messages. By navigating to their Instagram account settings, specifically under “Messages” in the “Privacy” section, users can have control over whether they wish to allow people who don’t follow them to send messages or not.

Thus the answer is quite straightforward: “YES,” you can indeed send direct messages to a private account on Instagram even if you’re not friends with the user. While Instagram prioritizes user privacy in various ways, it has not restricted the ability to send direct messages to other users, whether you follow them or not. However, there is an important exception to consider: the recipient must have enabled their message requests option for users they don’t follow, allowing them to receive messages from non-friends.

Unlike some other platforms, there is no requirement to follow or be followed by someone to send them messages. You can freely communicate with both public and private Instagram accounts without any such constraints. Direct messages are accessible to all users of the platform who have enabled their message requests option.

If someone hasn’t enabled their message request option, you’ll be able to tell when you attempt to message them. After sending your message, you’ll receive a notification in the chat stating, “This account can’t receive your message because they don’t allow message requests from everyone.”

Can Someone See Your Message On Instagram If You Are Not Friends?


After reading the above heading, it becomes evident that on Instagram, it’s quite apparent that you can send messages to a private Instagram account without the requirement to follow them. However, the crucial factor here is whether the user you wish to message has enabled this option or not. If they have, then consequently, the recipient of the message will be able to view it.

However, when you send a message to someone you don’t follow, it appears in a separate section called “requests,” similar to Facebook’s “Message Request” section. This section is intended for messages where users request to engage in conversation with someone they don’t follow.

Both the “Requests” section on Instagram and the “Message Requests” section on Facebook display a list of messages sent by users who are not friends with the recipients. Additionally, both these sections include a numerical indicator showing how many requests the user has received.

When the recipient clicks on your message, you won’t receive a notification indicating whether they have read your message until they accept your message request. They will be presented with three options: block, delete, or accept, depending on which they choose, the fate of your chat will be determined.

However, if you send a message that Instagram deems offensive or unwanted, it’ll be moved to another folder labeled “Hidden Requests”

How to Direct Message a Private Account on Instagram?

Illustration of a private account
Illustration of a private account

Sending a message to a public Instagram account is straightforward since the “Message” option is prominently displayed beside the “Follow” button. However, when it comes to private accounts that you don’t follow, the process is slightly more complex and not as obvious, as the message option is not readily visible.

To send a message to such a private account you don’t follow, follow these steps:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Search for the desired account.
  3. Click on the vertical three-dotted icon located at the top right.
  4. Then select the “Send Message” option.

This way, you can easily send your message, and the recipient will receive it if they have enabled the message request option.

Did They Read It? Know If Your Instagram Direct Message Was Seen

The curiosity of whether someone has read your message is a natural part of human nature, especially when you are anticipating a reply. Therefore, it is crucial to find out if your messages have been seen or not.

As mentioned earlier, with a private Instagram account that you don’t follow, your message will remain in the recipient’s “Requests” section until they view it. However, even after they see it, you won’t be aware until they accept your request.

Once they do accept it, you’ll notice a “seen by [name of recipient]” notification under your message. In some cases, their profile picture in a small circle may also appear beneath your message, indicating that they have viewed your messages.

How to know if a message was seen on Instagram?

If they have seen your message and haven’t responded, there could be several possibilities, as listed in the table below:

Busy ScheduleThe recipient’s busy schedule, with deadlines, studies, or other personal commitments, might be the reason they haven’t found the time to respond to your texts.
Technical IssuesTechnical glitches with the app or a poor internet connection could also be reasons why, even if they did respond to your text, their response may not have reached you.
Forgot To ReplyIt’s highly likely that they saw your message and intended to reply later, but they ended up forgetting to do so. This situation happens to me quite frequently, so I can relate to it a lot.
Lack Of InterestIt’s possible that they saw your message but didn’t find it interesting enough to respond, leading them to avoid replying altogether.
Waiting For A Better TimeThis situation is quite common for many of us. Sometimes, we see a message but choose not to reply immediately because we feel the message deserves more attention than we can provide at that moment. We may be in a situation where it’s not suitable to respond properly, so we leave the message on “seen” to reply to it at the right time later.
Reasons why the recipient has seen your messages but not replied to them.

Sum Up

  • Instagram is a popular social media platform known for visual content sharing and user interactions.
  • Instagram allows you to message a private account you don’t follow with the exception that the recipient has enabled the message request option.
  • Recipients can see your messages if you send them to a private account, regardless of whether you follow them or not.
  • To DM a private account you don’t follow, search for the account, click the vertical three-dotted icon, and choose the “send message” option.
  • To know if someone read your messages, wait for them to accept your message request; once accepted, you’ll see a “seen by [name of recipient]” notification or their profile picture beneath your message.
  • Reasons for not replying despite seeing the message include being busy, forgetting to reply, lack of interest, technical issues, or waiting for a better time.

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