How To Use Direct Messages on Instagram

Blog   /   Social

A few months ago, Instagram announced a new direct messaging component called Instagram Direct. Kate Dunham, our colleague at uberVU, breaks down this new feature and shows you how it can be used for your business.

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Instagram Direct Message: The Details

  • Users can now send photos or videos to other users privately.
  • Users can like and comment on the photo or video and the sender will be able to see who has viewed it.
  • Photos and videos sent from people you follow will appear automatically. If you do not follow the person sending the content it will appears as a request allowing you to choose whether or not to view.
  • You can send a direct message to multiple users and each person receiving the messages has the ability to reply all, reply just to the sender, or comment.

How Brands are Using Instagram Direct:

Gap launched a contest using Instagram Direct just two hours after Instagram announced the feature. The brand sent the first 15 people that commented on its photo a Direct Instagram that asked for photos of what the users were wearing for a chance to win a prize.

Gap ran a contest with its followers using Instagram Direct.
Clothing brand Gap ran a contest with its followers using Instagram Direct.

How You Can Use Instagram Direct:


You could follow Gap’s example and run a contest with selected users. Or run a public contest and use Instagram Direct to contact the winners. Take advantage of the fact that you now have the ability to have direct contact with your followers.

Provide Customer Service

Consumers are increasingly taking to social to air complaints or request help—be prepared on Instagram. Take customer services issues into direct mode to effectively help the customer without having a potentially negative conversation in public.

Offer Exclusive Content

Reward brand advocates with extra content or a special offer, delivered individually with a direct message. Find your most loyal consumers and hold flash sales or scavenger hunts to win a prize.

Create a Community

Since direct messages can be sent to multiple users, you can use the feature to hold group discussions. Create a private community of your top brand ambassadors or influencers where they can connect deeper with your brand and with each other. Offer them sneak peeks into your latest products or content, ask for their feedback and encourage them to share with each other (and make sure to monitor the conversation closely).

This post was originally published on the uberVU blog.