Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in 2020. Most folks use the smartphone app, but there is also a Web version. Facebook owns IG, but the usability isn’t quite the same. It’s much easier for a person to communicate on Facebook’s desktop version. Logging into an IG profile on a computer is a different story.
It’s not clear why direct messages are different on the two platforms. For those who are confused about how to DM on Instagram, here’s some help. This guide walks through a few methods for reaching out to new profiles on IG. It also covers how to deliver videos, GIFs, and more.
How to DM on Instagram Direct
Most people know how to DM on Instagram through the app. This is the easiest way to message others. Plus, most users are on the smartphone app anyway. Check out the steps below for using Instagram Direct.
- Launch the app and log in.
- In the top-right corner, there is a paper airplane icon. Tap this to open Instagram Direct. This is the platform’s message service.
- The screen will show a list of the existing conversations. Press on an ongoing conversation to continue chatting. Or, push “New Message” at the bottom to talk to someone else.
- The app will suggest other users talk to. Individuals can also type in usernames if they don’t see it listed.
- With the correct person selected, tap “Write a message” at the bottom of the screen.
- To add a photo, push the picture icon to the left.
- Finally, press the blue “Send” button.
Again, this is the most common way to start conversations and messages. For those who want to DM on a computer, check out the other sections below.
DMing Through Someone’s IG Profile
Another way to chat with someone is through their IG profile. This method takes a few more clicks, but it’s not a problem. Some individuals like this way because they can see the person’s most recent posts.
- Start by opening the Instagram app.
- Press the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen.
- In the search bar, type in the person’s name.
- They should show up in the suggestions list. Tap it to go to their profile.
- Another option is to scroll through the feed until one of their posts shows up. Then, click on their username.
- On the profile screen, push the icon in the top-right corner. On the iPhone, it’s three horizontal dots. On Android phones, the dots are vertical.
- A pop-up box will appear. There are a few options but choose the “Send Message” one.
- A conversation screen will pop up. There is space to write something at the bottom. Type something into this text box.
- Tapping the picture icon to the left will bring up the photo gallery. This is for attaching any images to the conversation.
- Press the blue “Send” button to the side. On Android phones, this button is a checkmark instead.
To make sure the DM sent, look for a check next to the new message. Keep in mind that users can share all kinds of content this way. Some examples include videos, images, GIFs, and voice notes.
How to Send a DM on Instagram on PC Using a Laptop
Most of the time, individuals access IG from the smartphone app. Yet, there are times when they may want a larger display like Facebook. In those cases, someone may log into the platform on a computer.
The functions may be trickier to access, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how to send a DM on Instagram on PC. This first section is for Mac, while the following part is for Windows computers.
- The first step is to turn on the Mac and open the Safari Web browser.
- Type in www.instagram.com and log in.
- Click the Safari tab in the top-left of the computer screen.
- Hover over “Preferences” in the drop-down menu. Then, select “Advanced” from the pop-out tab.
- A menu box will appear. At the bottom, it says, “Show Develop menu in the menu bar.” Click this checkbox to fill it in.
- Close the Safari Advanced Preferences menu.
- Select the Develop tab at the top of the computer screen. It should be a few spots to the right of the Safari tab.
- Hover the cursor over “User Agent,” then select the iPhone option that pops out.
This will make the Safari Web browser look like it’s on an iPhone. Notice how the information presents itself as if it’s on the phone. It will be easier to DM someone now.
DMing From a Computer Using Google Chrome
Here’s how to DM people on Instagram PC with the Google Chrome Web browser. The main idea is the same, but the process is a bit different on a Windows computer.
- Open up Google Chrome and type the Instagram website into the search bar.
- On the IG homepage, right-click.
- From the pop-up menu, select “Inspect.”
- There will be a large box on the side of the screen. It will contain lines of code, but don’t be overwhelmed. At the top of this box, there’s a little icon. It looks like a phone in front of a tablet. This is the Toggle Device Toolbar button. Select it, so it turns blue.
- Now, a small toolbar will appear at the top of the IG page. The first word on the left should be “Responsive.” Refresh the browser.
- When the page reloads, close the Inspect window that’s on the side of the screen.
Now the webpage should resemble that of a mobile phone. It will be easier to navigate the site and share direct messages. Follow the same steps to send Instagram DMs, treating the computer as a phone.
Accessing the Instagram DM Menu
- First, be sure that the browser reconfiguration was successful. To check, look for the paper airplane icon in the top corner of the screen.
- Select that icon to go to the Instagram DM menu. There, it’s possible to view old conversations or create new ones. The steps are the same as in the sections above.
Using IG Messages to Share a Newsfeed Post
Often, someone sees a video or image in their feed that they want to show others. There’s a way to share these posts through Instagram messages. Here’s how to do it.
- Go to the desired post. Look underneath the image or video. There should be a few icons.
- One of these symbols is the paper airplane. Tap it once.
- An Instagram DM screen will appear. There is space to add a sentence or two, but this is optional.
- Beneath that space, there is a search bar. Type in someone’s username or select their profile from the suggestions list.
- Individuals can share with up to 32 people.
- To forward the post to a group, tap the icon at the end of the search bar. It looks like a group of people with a plus sign.
There are some things to keep in mind. First, someone may want to share a post from a private profile. In that case, the person they’re sharing it must also follow that account. Second, the user who uploaded the post won’t know if someone shares it.
How to Send a DM on Instagram of Someone’s Profile
Individuals can use Instagram messaging to share another person’s profile. This is a fun way for people to show friends their favorite Instagrammers. It will show the person’s name, username, and a preview of their content. Here’s how to send a DM on Instagram of someone’s IG profile.
- Go to the individual’s profile.
- Tap the three dots in the corner. On the iPhone, the dots are horizontal. On Android phones, they’re vertical.
- Select “Share this Profile” from the pop-up menu. It’s the last option.
- It’s optional to write something about the profile.
- Next, look through the suggestions list and push the button next to the name to share with others.
- Another way to do this is to type the username into the search bar.
The platform allows users to share with up to 32 people. This method only works for public profiles. If it’s private, the recipient must be following that account to view it.
How to Share an IG Story With Instagram DMs
It’s also possible to share an IG Story through Instagram messages. Facebook and Instagram are always changing the rules about stories. The directions below are current as of June 2020. Keep in mind that this is different from sharing a video through Instagram messaging.
- While viewing the story, tap the paper airplane icon. It should be at the bottom of the screen.
- An Instagram conversation box will appear. Either type a username into the search bar or scroll through the suggestions list.
- To share the story with a group, push the icon in the search bar. It looks like a group with a plus sign.
- When the person’s username pops up, tap the blue “Send” button.
IG Stories disappear after 24 hours. If a recipient doesn’t view it within that time frame, they won’t see it. The post will still appear in their Instagram DMs, but it will say, “No longer available.”
How to Direct Message on Instagram With a GIF
GIFs are becoming more popular among personal accounts. Even if someone knows how to message people on Instagram, they might get confused with GIFs. These moving graphics are showing up in all kinds of posts.
It’s important to deliver it correctly to maintain its original format. This is how to direct message on Instagram with GIFs.
- Log in to the app.
- Tap the paper airplane icon in the top corner.
- Search for a user at the top. Or, scroll through the friend’s list to find the right person.
- Select the appropriate user to open the conversation screen.
- At the bottom, there is a text box for messaging. Tap on the square smiley face icon.
- Look through the Giphy options to find a suitable GIF.
- Tap on a GIF to send it instantly.
Sometimes, a GIF can say much more than words. They’re great for conveying “Happy Birthday,” “Congrats,” and related statements. A GIF is also a fun way to express a reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Instagram Messages Private?
Yes. When someone starts a private chat with another person, it’s a one-on-one conversation. No one else will know that those two people are chatting. Also, any media that they share is private. This includes things like videos, photos, and GIFs.
Can I Use IG Direct to Send Messages to People I’m Not Following?
Yes. A user can send a DM to someone even if they aren’t one of their followers. When this happens, the other person will receive a message request in their inbox. They can decide to accept the request or deny it. If they allow it, any future requests will go straight to their DM inbox.
Can Deleted Instagram Messages Be Recovered by Police?
The platform does not store DMs. There are millions of users, so keeping all those notes would be almost impossible. Users shouldn’t rely on the app to save their chats. Comments also aren’t stored in the servers.
Photos are a bit different. The servers do keep images because they’re a potential source of money. Keep that in mind before sharing a photograph. The police could use that as evidence if the situation permits it.
Are Instagram Messages Monitored?
The short answer is no. It’s easy to get paranoid about sharing things online. Even in a private chat, people may wonder if the app is monitoring conversations. IG does have operational guidelines and cookies for law enforcement officials seeking account records. Also, the platform tracks user locations and activities such as liking and commenting. Remember, cookies can access private data like phone numbers and email addresses.
Enjoy Different Ways to Share & Communicate
This guide covers everything to know about how to message someone on Instagram. There are several methods to try, both for computers and smartphones.
These strategies reflect current policies, but IG might change the rules in the future. If you have a favorite way to communicate on the platform, tell us about it in the comments below.