When Twitter announced on Thursday that read receipts were coming to Direct Messages, many were thrilled about the idea of being to track whether or not their DMs had been received. Others, however, immediately wanted to know how to turn off Twitter Direct Message read receipts, because, well… not everyone loves the idea of other people being able to tell when you’re ignoring them. Since the DM update is being rolled out gradually, it wasn’t clear at first whether the read receipts feature was even something users could opt out of at all — but I’m happy to report today, both from chatter around the web and through personal experience, that it is, in fact, possible to turn off read receipts. And what’s more, doing so is super easy.
The recent Twitter DM update brings three new features to the private messaging portion of the social network: Read receipts, the typing indicator, and web link previews. All three features will be making their way to both the iOS and Android versions of the app; however, Twitter on the web will only see the addition of web link previews. There isn’t an exact timeline for when these new features will arrive, but according to a statement provided to Bustle, they’ll be rolled out for all users over the next couple of days. And while yesterday, I did not have the update, I found this morning that I do now! Which means that I can share with you all the knowledge that having access to the new features provides. All hail the internet.
As Twitter notes on the support page for Direct Messages, “At this time, read receipts are only viewable on the Twitter for iOS and Android apps. Please note, however, that read receipts will also be sent when you view Direct Messages on twitter.com” — that is, although you can’t see read receipts if you use Twitter on the web, if you read a Direct Message from someone and they check to see whether you’ve seen it on the app, they’ll still get a read receipt notification.
Of course, that’s only true if you have read receipts turned on in the first place. They’re activated by default, but turning them off is just as simple as tapping or clicking through a few menus and hitting a few buttons. The exact process varies a little based on where you’re accessing Twitter from, but the basic idea is the same, no matter what platform you’re using.
I’ll illustrate the instructions with screenshots from an iPhone, but I’ll also include directions for all three possible platforms: iOS, Android, and the web. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Go To The Settings Menu
On the iOS version of the Twitter app, this involves going to the “Me” tab, then tapping the gear icon two buttons to the left of the “Edit Profile” button, then tapping “Settings” on the menu that pops up when you do so.
On Android, tap either the navigation menu icon (which looks like three lines stacked on top of each other) or your profile icon — whichever you have. (It will vary by device.) Then tap "Settings."
On the web, click the button with your profile photo in the upper right hand corner next to the “Tweet” button; then select "Settings."
2. Select The Privacy Option
On iOS, it’s called “Privacy and Safety”; it’s towards the bottom of the first grouping of Settings options, right between “Notifications” and “Orders and Payments.”
On Android, it’s called “Privacy and Content.”
On the web, it’s called “Security and Privacy,” and it’s right near the top of the menu — directly below “Account.”
3. Find The “Send/Receive Read Receipts” Option
On iOS, it’s right in the middle of the screen; it has the familiar green toggle switch next to it that pretty much all iOS settings options use. By default, it will be toggled to the “On” position.
On Android, it’s got a box instead of a switch; similarly, though, the box will be checked by default.
On the web, you’ll have to scroll down a little bit — the option is all the way at the bottom of the screen. Like the Android version, it’s a box here, too; it’s checked by default.
4. Turn The “Send/Receive Read Receipts” Option Off And Save Your Changes
On iOS, toggle the switch to the “Off” position (it will be green when it’s on and white when it’s off), then tap the “Done” button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
On Android and web, uncheck the box. Since I don’t have an Android, unfortunately I can’t tell you what the “save changes” option is for that version of the app; I assume it’s either something like the “Done” button on iOS, or just leaving the menu entirely. On the web, though, you’ll need to click the “Save Changes” button directly below the “Send/Receive Read Receipts” box.
And that’s all there is to it! Congratulations — you may now freely ignore DMs without anyone knowing you're doing it. Happy tweeting!
Images: Isaiah & Taylor Photography/Stocksy; Lucia Peters/Bustle (4)