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Instagram Is Testing out the Ability to Send Silent DMs Without Notifications

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Jan. 6 2022, Published 9:41 a.m. ET

Like all social media services, Instagram is constantly testing out new features for users, although they don't always do the best job of communicating what these changes are. One recent change, for example, is the @silent feature that is now available in some users' DMs. Although many have seen the symbol, most people aren't sure exactly what it might indicate.

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What does "@Silent" mean on Instagram?

Some users have noticed that, when they go to send a direct message to someone on the platform, the word "silent" appears above the keyboard. Next to the word is a notification bell with a line through it, along with the message "send message without a notification."

As it turns out, "@silent" does exactly what that message suggests. It's a new feature that the platform is testing out which would allow users to send messages without the receiver being notified about the new messages.

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If you send your message tagged with "@silent," your message will be delivered normally, but the user or users you send it to won't be notified of the new message. The new feature is mainly advantageous for users who are sending a message that isn't urgent and doesn't need to be seen right away. It also allows users to message friends without disrupting things like sleep or work.

When a user opens their Instagram app and navigates to their DMs, they'll see the message pop up as they might normally. To use the feature, all you have to do is send "@silent" before you send your message. Although for some this feature may seem pointless, it may be a life-saver for others who feel inundated with messages that they don't actually have time to answer in the moment they get them.

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'@Silent' is perfect for people with a lot going on.

Modern life means that many people are a part of group messages which they can't always keep a vigilant watch over. Sometimes, you have to ignore whatever it is that your friends are talking about in order to focus on work, your family, or whatever else is going on in your life.

During those times, it can be difficult to ignore messages if your phone is blowing up.

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Now, courteous friends can avoid annoying one another by sending their group messages silently, and keeping the receiver from being notified. That way, users who are bored and want to respond can open their DMs and do so, but others who are busy won't know they were messaged at all. It's a perfect compromise and one that's designed for people who feel inundated by notifications.

The silent feature is cool, but it certainly isn't revolutionary, and it doesn't do a ton to address many of the broader concerns that have recently come to light about the mental health effects Instagram has, particularly on young girls. Instagram has made some changes to address those concerns, although for many, including lawmakers, they are not close to sufficient. New features are cool, but small tweaks aren't going to change the platform's bigger problems.

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