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Why Are Your Instagram Messages Black? How to Fix the Annoying Problem Both iPhone and Android users are experiencing the issue.

By Amanda Breen Edited by Jessica Thomas

Following Instagram's latest update, social media users worldwide are facing a couple of frustrating developments: an inability to use filters on their Instagram story, encountering an "unable to use effect" error message, and, as of early Thursday morning, blacked out Instagram direct messages.

Both iPhone and Android users are up against the social media issue, and some shared screenshots of it on Twitter, revealing messages that were both entirely and partially blacked out on the Instagram app.

Why are Instagram messages black?

Although Instagram has yet to address the worldwide message blackout, it appears the social media platform itself is experiencing the glitch, as reports of the irritating error aren't limited to certain mobile devices or carriers.

The most likely cause is that recent update, and the frequently large number of users on the app might also be a contributing factor — it's why some of the biggest social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, have also gone down in the past.

Related: Last Week's Facebook Outage Proves Why Email Marketing Is Still So Valuable

Naturally, many took to Twitter to express their confusion, warn others that updating the app could turn their Instagram messages black and, in some cases, share their failed attempts at troubleshooting the problem.

One person asked if others' messages looked "weird."

Another told them that updating the app could put them at risk for the black messages.

A third said that restarting his phone and force quitting the app didn't fix the issue.

How to fix black Instagram messages

Fortunately, there is a fix for the blacked out Instagram direct messages, and it's a surprisingly simple one: Just switch your phone's settings to dark mode.

On an iPhone, navigate to "Settings," select "Display & Brightness" and hit "Dark."

Changing the chat color makes messages visible again, fixing the annoying error until Instagram comes up with a more permanent solution.

Related: Apple Launches First Budget 5G iPhone

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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