What is Instagram Dark Mode?

Instagram dark mode isn’t a new concept. Most social media platforms have adopted a dark mode feature and Instagram isn’t any different. Many social media users might prefer Instagram night mode because it’s aesthetically appealing or just easier on their eyes. Perhaps, you fall in one of these categories. While that may be true, have you asked yourself why you think IG dark mode looks better? Furthermore, have you wondered how dark mode changes your feed? Do you want to know more about Instagram night mode? This article will discuss how to use dark mode and the pros and cons of it.

night instagram

How to Enable Instagram Dark Mode

Instagram dark mode, or its official name Dark Theme, is a display setting where everything is dark. Comparatively, it has the same look as the iOS dark theme for Apple products. Everything that used to be white is now black, and everything black is now white. At first glance, you’re probably wondering if that means the color scheme in Instagram is inverted. To answer your question: yes and no. Instagram dark mode adjusts the colors of your screen giving it a darker appearance. It looks likes Instagram switched the black and white color palettes, but it’s enhanced to improve readability. To put it differently, Instagram night mode makes it easier for you to read.


Instagram dark mode is a phone setting and not an app setting. If you were poking through the settings in the Instagram app and couldn’t find the dark theme mode, it’s because it’s not there. Additionally, turning on this setting will affect other apps besides Instagram. Apps such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google will be switched to dark mode in addition to the phone’s interface. First, you need to check if your phone and Instagram support dark mode. This setting is only available for iOS 13 and after. Next, to turn on dark mode, you need to go into your phone settings. Scroll through them until you find “Display and Brightness.” Afterward, select the Dark option.

Automatic Modes

Apple has an automatic option that allows you to decide when your phone switches from light mode and dark mode. To access this feature, return to the “Display and Brightness” screen. Below the light and dark options, there’s an “Automatic” option. Afterward, you can choose the “Sunset to Sunrise” option or create a custom schedule. This setting will also affect your Instagram app.


For Android, you can turn on Instagram night mode through the Instagram app or your phone’s settings. First, let’s discuss how to turn it on via your phone’s settings. Navigate to your phone’s settings. Select “Display”, then “Advanced.” Scroll to the bottom of the list. Click on “Device Theme.” Lastly, select “Dark.” To turn on dark mode in the Instagram app, open Instagram. Navigate to your profile. On the top right, select the icon with three horizontal lines. That will open up Instagram settings. Select “Theme” then select “Dark.” It’s important to note that this function is only available for Android 10 users.

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Why Instagram Night Mode?

Since dark mode was introduced, there has been debate over which one is better. This article won’t tell you what to choose, but it’ll discuss why you should try or forgo Instagram dark mode.


The most popular rhetoric about why dark mode is superior to light mode is it’s better for your eyes. You might agree that it makes your eyes hurt less. If you’re a dark mode user, you can probably confirm that your eyes don’t sting or feel as tired. Moreover, the lower brightness is kinder to your eyes especially if you’re in a dark room like a movie theater. However, because it makes your eyes feel better doesn’t mean it’s better for them. Dark mode makes it harder for you to see. In fact, dark mode makes your eyes dilate. As a result, you have a harder time focusing. If you found that words blur together while you’re scrolling Instagram, it’s not because you’re tired.

Blue Light

Dark mode gives off less blue light than light mode. Blue light alters your circadian rhythm, which it makes it harder for you to sleep. It should be noted that dark mode doesn’t eliminate the blue light that’s present in most electronic displays. Unless you want to anguish over finding the best web design for your website all night, you should switch Instagram and your other apps to night mode.

night mode instagram

Constant Use Cons

If you’re an avid dark mode user, constantly using dark mode can negatively affect your eyes. To enumerate, when you use dark mode for an extended period of time, your eyes are used to seeing things with a darker color palette. When you switch or use something that doesn’t have night mode, this will present a shock to your eyes. Think about how bad your eyes hurt whenever you turn your screen brightness up too much. This light sensitivity isn’t permanent, but you should find a middle ground to avoid eye fatigue.

Mental Health

The lack of light or brightness can negatively affect your mental health. Instagram night mode might be easier on your eyes and allow you to use Instagram more comfortably, but it might make you too comfortable. A lack of light can lead to depression. This is mainly founded in correlations with depression rates to sunlight exposure. However, there are professionals who believe dark mode may function similarly. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a recognized condition where people develop depression symptoms when they don’t experience enough sunlight.

Social Media and Depression

Moreover, Instagram’s dark mode can worsen Facebook Depression. Despite the title, Facebook Depression isn’t limited to Facebook. In fact, it can be applied to all social media sites. Similar to SAD, it’s a condition where people develop symptoms of depression. In addition, dark mode’s decrease in blue light may worsen these symptoms even further. Blue light is responsible for us feeling alert during the day. Switching to dark mode to improve your circadian rhythm may have an opposite effect. With this in mind, being too comfortable with social media can result in a decline in your mental health. You should pace yourself when using Instagram and other social media sites. Furthermore, if you’re able, you should invest in an auto daytime and nighttime mode setting on your phone.

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Better Contrast

Night mode emphasizes contrast. White tends to stand out more against a black backdrop. To put it differently, the contrast makes it easier for you to read and perceive images. Furthermore, if your Instagram profile has a lighter color story, dark mode will make it stick out. Moreover, it can make your posts more visually appealing to your audience.

Energy Efficient

Instagram dark mode uses less energy than Instagram light mode. Your phone needs to use more energy or more of its battery to display brighter colors. If you are looking for ways to conserve your battery, switching to night mode for Instagram and the rest of your apps is a good idea.

“It Looks Better”

In addition to dark mode improving contrast, many people will agree that Instagram looks better. There are several reasons why you’ll agree and others will disagree. It could be a result of seeing Instagram in light mode for many years only to get a fresh “update.” In other words, it’s different and new so it’s better. Moreover, it could be the improved contrast that now all text is written in white instead of black. Furthermore, it could be a collection of all of its benefits. To enumerate, there isn’t a true reason why it looks better.

IG Dark Mode and Your Digital Marketing Plan

We recommend that you take advantage of social media when crafting a digital marketing plan, especially Instagram. Unlike other social media platforms, you can present image and video-based content more efficiently than Facebook or Twitter. However, a huge barrier of entry to becoming a savvy Instagram user is understanding aesthetics. When creating a feed, you should ask yourself what you’ll want it to look like, how you want your target audience to react, and how you can increase engagement. The introduction of dark mode made this process more difficult. As we stated earlier, a profile that uses a light color scheme will have a higher contrast on a phone that uses night mode.

instagram dark mode

Content Creation

When creating content for Instagram, you should be aware that your audience may view your profile in light or dark mode. Although this may be true, you don’t have to ensure that all your social media posts are both optimized for light mode and dark mode. Instead, find a balance between the two. Don’t post images or videos that will blend into the Instagram background. In other words, don’t use all white or all black images. If your profile is made up of mostly white images and one of your followers uses light mode, it’ll be harder for them to see your posts because of the lack of contrast. Do you want to know more about Instagram? Or do you need help creating a digital marketing plan that includes Instagram? SEO Design Chicago offers digital marketing, SEO, and social media services. Schedule a consultation with us today!


  • What is Instagram dark mode?
  • How do I use dark mode?
  • Is dark mode good for you?
  • Why is dark mode better?
  • How do I change my Instagram theme?

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