A few of Instagram users have found they’re no longer able to temporarily disable their accounts – a feature, similar to the one Facebook has, that allows you to take a break from the social network for a period of time, but stops short of a full account deletion. The bug has been spotted in the wild since at least February, and is the subject of a number of complaints across social media.
As Instagram’s Help documentation explains, the account disabling feature will temporarily hide your profile, photos, comments and likes until you choose to reactivate your account by logging back in. The option to disable is only available when you log in via a mobile browser or computer – it’s not a setting you can reach through Instagram’s native mobile app, for the record.
In some cases, it’s a first step for those considering a full account deletion – an experiment to see if it’s worth giving up the app entirely. People also disable their accounts when they need to focus on something important – like a big project at work or exams at school, for example. Plus, the feature can help when there are privacy concerns of some sort, such as when someone is a victim of cyberbullying or cyberstalking and needs to get off the service for a while.
There are a number of other personal reasons why people take breaks, too.
In Instagram’s case, you’re able to disable your account once a week, but the problems being reported are not from people who are trying to switch off their account more often than that – the feature just isn’t working at all, they’re saying.
In addition, according to many complaints, Instagram’s feature has been broken for some time and they’re not able to get any help through technical support channels.
After attempting to click the feature from their “Edit Profile” section, users say they’re directed to their feed on Instagram’s homepage, but their account remained active. People said they’ve tried this in different web browser, as well, to see if it was a bug associated with just one platform. But, the problem persisted.
Users said that Instagram’s support email wasn’t working and they were told to report the problem in the app through an email auto-responder. But flagging bugs in the app is only a one-way street – you’re not sent any response or offered help. Others tried reaching out to Instagram through social media channels like Facebook messages and tweets, but the company hadn’t responded those complaints, either.