Don't Panic! There's A Way To Unsend Instagram Direct Messages

Barack Obama selfieROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty ImagesPresident Obama posed for a selfie with the Danish Prime Minister last week at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.

With the advent of Instagram Direct, a new feature from the photo-sharing platform that allows you to send photos to a select group of people, comes a lot of responsibility.

Is there anything that strikes more fear in the heart than the idea that you may have sent a photo to an unintended recipient?

Well, breathe easy; there’s a way to take back an Instagram Direct photo message you didn’t mean to send.

But you have to think fast.

Here’s how it works: I took a photo of the New York Rangers celebrating a 4-3 shootout victory against the Calgary Flames at Madison Square Garden last night, so I went to send it to my brother via Instagram Direct:

I changed my mind after I clicked send, so I immediately clicked the ellipses. It gave me the option to delete the photo:

I confirmed (quickly) that, yes, I wanted to delete the post, making it unavailable to my brother.

After you do this, the photo will disappear from your outbox (but not from your camera roll on your phone). The recipient will receive a notification that you sent them a photo, but if you delete it before the green check mark appears on their photo (indicating that they saw the message), they won’t be able to see or access the photo.

As Ars Technica points out: “It’s similar to sharing a Facebook photo or Google+ post privately, but deleting those items will not pull them out from under viewers who have them open already.”

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