What does “Instagram user” mean in DMs?

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So you’ve been scrolling through your Instagram DMs. You may have memories of the ghosts of DM slides over. Or maybe you’re trying to find that hilarious meme you sent to a friend a few weeks ago. Suddenly you see it: an ominous default gray profile picture called “Instagram User.” When you click on their profile, you will see “User not found” instead of a follow button. Is your DM inbox cursed?

Take a deep breath before you get Mark Zuckerberg on the phone. As weird as it can be to see a message correspondence with this vague persona in your inbox, it can happen to almost anyone. And there are a few reasons for that.

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Whether you’re trying to connect with someone who now appears as an “Instagram user” in your inbox, or identifying the mysterious Instagram user in your inbox, here’s what you need to know about the Instagram post.

What does “Instagram user” mean in DMs?

If you’ve found one (or more) posts labeled “Instagram User,” you might be wondering who this seemingly anonymous profile could belong to. Essentially, “Instagram User” is an alias that Instagram puts above chats with people you can no longer contact via Instagram posts.

If you see an Instagram user in your inbox, it could be for several reasons. One of the most common reasons is that this person has deleted their account or has been disabled. NerdTechy also reports that someone can also show up as an “Instagram user” if they’ve blocked you. If you are blocked by someone, it will be impossible to view their profile or message them, so this may be why they appear in your DMs as an unidentified user.

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If you want to know the original identity of this person, check your messages with him. More than likely you will be able to recognize your message thread with them. You may see inside jokes with your friend who recently disappeared from the network, quickly solving your mystery. Or maybe you can’t figure out who the person is at all.

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The good and bad news is that there isn’t much to do when you see this in your inbox. It could mean that someone has deleted their profile. It could mean that someone has blocked you. And anyway, you can’t message them to ask. So if you see this ominous gray icon lurking in your inbox, don’t fret. Refocus your attention on answering those countless blue dots next to friends waiting for your answer.

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