A Guide to Getting the Most out of Instagram Direct Messaging

How to Grow Your Business with Instagram Direct Message

Instagram direct is more than just direct messaging. Users can send anything from locations to disappearing photos via Instagram direct.

Anyone can benefit from using Instagram direct. Business owners can privately answer customer questions, influencers can get in touch with sponsors, and anyone can send their friends funny memes and videos.  

Ready to be an Instagram direct expert? Here’s everything you need to know about using Instagram direct.

What is Instagram Direct?

Instagram direct is a messaging feature that comes with the Instagram app. Some people call it DM, or direct message for short. It’s similar to texting, except it’s done through Instagram.

Although many users communicate on Instagram in the comments section of a post, Instagram direct messages are only shown to the people you are sending them to. It’s a great way to privately connect with like-minded people or ask questions to businesses on the platform.

If you’re looking where to get Instagram direct, simply slide your screen to the left while on the home screen view. 

The Instagram direct icon is that small paper-airplane-looking symbol at the top right side of your home screen. Once you get to your messages, your screen will look a little like this:

Instagram DM filter messages step 1

To put it simply, Instagram direct is a way to communicate one-on-one with other Instagram users. However, there’s a lot more to it than just sending messages!

More on Instagram direct: How to Grow Your Business with Instagram Direct Message

How to send a new Instagram Direct message

Your existing chats will stay on your direct screen unless you delete them. But how do you compose a new message?

If you’ve never sent an Instagram direct to a specific user, there are two ways of doing so. You can either send your message by going to the user’s profile or by searching for them on the direct message page.

  1. By profile – send a new direct message by going to the user’s profile first. Underneath their bio, you’ll see the message button. Tap that, and now you’ll be able to compose a message. Check out Instagram user @naemdesign, pictured below for an example of this feature.  This feature it great for Instagram businesses because it makes it much easier for customers to contact the account owner with questions. Many customers will ask questions to businesses using this method. Read more on profiles: 8 Tips For Creating A Great Instagram Profile

    Message button
    Follow, message, contact, and shop buttons under user’s bio
  2. By search – If you already know the user’s exact username, you can simply search for it. To do so, first go to your direct messages screen by swiping to the left on your home screen. Next, tap that plus sign icon on the upper right corner of the screen. From there, you can type in the names of all the users you want to include in the message. Check out the image below to see how it works. Read more about Instagram searching here: How to Search Instagram Accounts, Hashtags and Posts

The second method listed above is also how you can start group chats. (We’ll dive deeper into Instagram group chats a little later.)

New message by search
Searching and selecting users to compose a new direct message

Other ways to use Instagram direct

Like we said earlier, Instagram direct is so much more than a simple exchange of text messages. Instagram direct has expanded so much more as a way to make the feature more fun, useful and convenient Check out the following list to see what and how you can send by using Instagram direct.

Photos and videos from your phone

  • Aside from text messages, sending photos and video
    Snap an instant photo or video
    Snap an instant photo or video

    s are one of the easiest things to send through Instagram direct. You can send an existing photo or video from your phone, or you can snap a photo or video to send instantly.

    • To send a photo or video from your phone, first compose a new message. Next, tap the circle camera icon located next to the message bar. 
    • Then, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can either snap an instant photo or video to send or select an existing photo or video from your phone by taping the square on the lower right corner of the screen.
    • Now, you get the chance to pop on a filter, text, stickers and more before you send it.
    • Lastly, tap send!

      Photo icon
      Photo icon

Existing posts you see on your feed

Have you ever noticed that paper airplane symbol located next to the heart and comment buttons under every Instagram post? That paper airplane symbol lets you send any photo or video on Instagram to anyone, and it’s super easy to do. Here’s how

    • Arrive at the given Instagram post that you want to send.
    • Tap that icon
    • Then, you’ll be able to select who you want to send the post to. Typically, users from your recent messages will show up first.
    • Tip: Keep in mind that when you send a post from a private account, only that account’s followers will be able to view the post.
  • Book With Bottle Flowers And Wood On Instagram
    Send a post through Instagram direct

Disappearing photos and videos 

Wait, is this snapchat? Kinda. Now you can send disappearing photos and videos on Instagram as well! A disappearing photo or video can be sent to either a group chat or one person. However, the post goes away after someone views it. Here’s how to send one:

    • First, follow the steps above for sending photos and videos from your phone
    • Once you’ve gotten that far, select what photo or video you want to send
    • Now, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see three options: “view once,” “allow replay,” or “keep in chat.” Slide to the option you want to use, and send!
View once, allow replay, keep in chat
View once, allow replay, keep in chat

Individual Instagram profiles

If there’s a profile you really like and want to share with your friends, you can easily do that with Instagram direct. 

    • Simply go to the user’s profile first.
    • Tap the three little dots symbol in the upper right corner (as you can see below).
  • Share Profile through Instagram direct
    Share profile through Instagram direct
    • Next, tap “share this profile.” Then, you’ll be able to select who you want to send it to.

      Share profile through Instagram direct
      Share profile through Instagram direct

Hashtags

Sending hashtags to each other are a little known feature on Instagram direct.

  • First, tap on any hashtag you’d like to send.
  • Tap the three little dots symbol in the upper right corner (as you can see below).

    Share a hashtag through Instagram direct
    Share a hashtag through Instagram direct
  • Next, tap share. It’s that easy!
Share a hashtag through Instagram direct
Share a hashtag through Instagram direct

💡 Related Post: All you need to know about the Instagram explore page

Locations

Our last feature of Instagram direct is sending locations. This can be especially helpful if you want to show someone a certain place or where you currently are. Here’s how to send your location through Instagram direct:

  • First, navigate to the location you want to send. You can do this by searching the name in the search bar.
  • Tap the Instagram direct button on the upper right corner.
  • Then, select whom you want to send the location to

 

Share a location through Instagram direct
Share a location through Instagram direct

 

How to start a group Instagram direct

Group chats are a huge aspect of Instagram direct. As briefly mentioned previously, group chats can be formed by searching and selecting who you want in your group. Once the group chat is made, all members will get the next notifications.

If you want to turn off notifications, tap the settings, located on the far right upper corner of the screen. In settings, you can change the group name, mute messages @mentions, and video chat.

You can also add users to the group in settings. Tap “add people,” and you’ll be able to search for who you want to add.

Tip: Instagram direct messages can hold up to 32 users!

💡 Related Post: What to do if someone hacked your Instagram account

Benefits, uses, and tips of Instagram direct

There’s still so much more to know about Instagram direct. We’ve compiled a list of quick tips to ensure you’ll be an Instagram direct expert.

By Kim

My name is Kim Hanna. I am a college student at Monmouth University. Writing has always been a passion of mine. I like writing about current trends that have to do with social media and fashion.

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