Instagram Introduces ‘Recently Deleted’ Feature

Written by Bill Toulas
Published on February 3, 2021

Instagram wants to give more content control power to its users and has just introduced a new ‘Recently Deleted’ feature that helps them manage their stuff easier. This is a feature that has been very strongly demanded by the community, as several people had their accounts hacked by malicious actors who wiped their collections.

As not everyone keeps a backup, many of these users couldn’t restore their images even if they got their accounts back. Also, there’s always that category of users who deleted something by mistake, so this is an undeniably useful addition.

Source: Instagram

Starting today, Instagram will be confirming the ownership of the account when the user attempts to delete an image or video. Not many details were given about the method of verification, but this is just the first step. The second and main thing will be to maintain a ‘Recently Deleted’ space where even permanently deleted content will be kept for 30 days.

The user will be able to access that space through Settings > Account > Recently Deleted, and they may restore or permanently delete them. The platform may keep copies of photos, video, and reels for up to 90 days, but that’s not guaranteed. For stories, the retention period is only 24 hours, as this type of content is the least critical for the users.

If you fail to gain back access to your Instagram account within a month’s period, you are running the risk of having your deleted content automatically wiped by the platform. Also, if the hacker who took over your account has a way to verify themselves as you, tough luck. Deleting the content permanently will be just a matter of a couple of additional steps, unfortunately.

Instagram has already added an ID-based verification system, but older accounts may not have been prompted to upload their documents yet. For more information around that, check this detailed instructions page. If you’re worried about account takeover attacks, you should have already enabled 2FA on Instagram. Right now, the social media platform gives the options of SMS or an authentication app.

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