What is the Dotted Circle Mean On Instagram DM

What is the Dotted Circle Mean On Instagram DM?

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By Social Guidee

If you’ve been wondering what that dotted circle signifies next to a user’s name in your Instagram direct message list, you’re not alone. This new feature, introduced just last month, has caught the attention of many. Essentially, it represents whether a user is active on the app or not.

When this feature is enabled, it provides a visual cue that the person you’re looking to chat with is currently online or was very recently. It’s one of the latest features introduced to enhance user interaction within the app.

Having this guide will show you how to use this feature effectively. The dotted circle acts as a quick reference to know if now might be a good time to reach out to someone. In this article, you’ll learn not just about its meaning but also how to make the most out of it.

Whether you’re a new user or an experienced one looking to keep up with the app’s evolving features, understanding this aspect can significantly improve your Instagram DM experience.

Meaning Of Dotted Circle On Instagram DM And What Is Vanish Mode?

Within the realm of Instagram DMs, the dotted circle next to a user’s name might leave some scratching their heads. This indicator is a gateway to understanding when someone is available to chat, but there’s another intriguing feature worth exploring: Vanish Mode. Introduced in 2020.

Vanish Mode on Instagram (and even on the web) offers a clearer picture of how privacy and safety can be enhanced within the app. When turned on, it allows users to send disappearing messages—be it texts, images, videos, or GIFs—that automatically disappear once they’ve been seen, leaving no trace behind unless turned off.

This means that any messages sent while Vanish Mode is on will automatically delete, adding an extra layer of safety and privacy for users. The best part? You can turn on or off this feature with a simple swipe, making it a versatile tool for those seeking more control over their chat interactions.

How To Enable Vanish Mode (Dotted circle) On Instagram

Step 1: Open your Instagram app 

To enable Vanish Mode (dotted circle) on Instagram, simply open the app on your phone, log in to your account, and you’re set to explore this intriguing feature.

Step 2: Go to the Message section 

To initiate Vanish Mode, swipe right on the home screen to access the Direct Message (DM) area, select the person you wish to chat with.

Step 3:  Enable vanish mode 

Once in the chat screen with the desired contact, simply swipe up to enable Vanish Mode. Once enabled, you can send disappearing messages that will disappear once the recipient has seen them and leaves the chat.

Why Can’t I Use The Dotted Circle On Instagram?

If you’re finding that Instagram does not allow you to use the dotted circle, there could be several reasons why this feature does not work. It might be due to an outdated app version, restrictions in your region, or specific account settings. Exploring solutions:

Outdated App: Ensure you update the app to its latest version to use the feature.

Restricted by Other Party: If the receiver has a professional account, it might be restricted from using vanish mode in messaging.

App Problems: Try clearing the app cache, restarting, or reinstalling the app.

Account Problems: Contact Instagram support and fill out a form with your basic information and describe the occurring problems.

Things To Know About Dotted Circle Instagram DM

The dotted circle in Instagram DM signals vanish mode is active, allowing messages to disappear after they’re seen. This feature enhances privacy during conversations, a crucial thing to know and look for when engaging in direct message exchanges on Instagram.

  • Vanish mode can be activated by swiping up in a chat, allowing messages to disappear after being viewed.
  • This feature is available for one-on-one messaging but not in group chats.
  • Screenshots and forwarding are disabled in vanish mode, ensuring privacy.
  • Notifications for screenshots are turned off, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Business and professional accounts might not allow vanish mode, limiting its use.
  • The dotted circle indicates when vanish mode is activated in the DM section.
  • Messages, images, and videos sent in vanish mode will automatically disappear after viewing.
  • Users can send message requests in vanish mode, but copying and forwarding are restricted.
  • To disable vanish mode, users must request to turn off the feature and then reopen the chat.
  • Instagram messaging integrates seamlessly with Facebook Messenger, expanding communication options.
  • The platform does not notify the other party if you close the chat window and reopen it to see the message again.
  • Powerful chatbots and conversations can be conducted in vanish mode, though it’s primarily designed for privacy.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What does the little circle mean on Instagram? 

The colorful circle around a profile picture on Instagram indicates the person has posted a story; tapping on their profile photo gets you redirected to view it.

What does the GREY dot mean on Instagram direct message? 

The GREY dot on Instagram direct message means the person has recently opened the DM but hasn’t refreshed their DMs since opening your chat box; hope this helps.

What does vanish mode look like on Instagram? 

On Instagram, when vanish mode is activated, the screen switches to dark mode, and shushing emojis fall from the top to indicate that you’ve successfully turned on this privacy feature, creating a unique visual cue for users engaging in disappearing conversations.

What is Vanish Mode on Instagram?

Vanish Mode on Instagram is a privacy feature that makes chats and messages automatically disappear once they’re read. If someone takes a screenshot of the message or chat, you’re notified, similar to how it works on Snapchat. This feature ensures conversations remain ephemeral, offering users an added layer of privacy for their digital interactions.

How do I enable Vanish Mode on Instagram? 

To enable Vanish Mode on Instagram, simply swipe up on the chat screen until the dotted circle appears, marking your entry into Vanish Mode territory.

Does the other person know when you are using Vanish Mode?

Yes, the other person can see a dotted circle around the chat icon, indicating you’re using Vanish Mode.

Can I be notified if someone takes a screenshot of my chat?

When Vanish Mode is activated, you will receive a notification if someone takes a screenshot of your chat, enhancing the privacy of your interactions.


If you’ve ever seen a dotted circle in Instagram Chat (DM) and found yourself wondering what it means, it’s a sign that Vanish Mode has been turned on. This feature allows personal chats to become more ephemeral, meaning any message you see will disappear once the conversation is closed. It’s an innovative way to ensure privacy in your viewing experience, enabling messages sent in the chat to vanish after they’ve been seen, making every conversation feel more personal and secure.

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