On Instagram, DMs are private messages between one Instagram user and another user, or group of users.
Instagram DMs don’t show up in your brand’s feed, profile or in search. And they won’t for your followers, either. Only you and those you are communicating with can see the direct messages.
On Instagram, DMs are sent by Instagram Direct. Think of this as an email inbox where private messages are collected.
On both desktop and mobile, access Instagram Direct to see your Instagram DMs by clicking on the paper airplane icon.
When you see a red numbered notification over the paper airplane icon, you’ll know there’s an unread DM to be read.
How to send Instagram DMs on your computer (PC or Mac)
Anyone with an Instagram account can create or reply to Instagram DMs from the browser version of the app, from a desktop computer, without any special downloads or features. This makes it easier for your brand to respond to an influx or high volume of DMs.
(If that high volume of DMs is coming from more than one Instagram account or several profiles across different social media platforms, you’re better off using a social media management tool like Hootsuite to handle DMs — more on that in the next section!)
Whether you’re replying to an Instagram DM on a PC or creating an Instagram DM on a Mac, the process is the same:
1. Log into your brand’s Instagram account
Log in to instagram.com using whichever web browser you prefer. There is no specific Instagram DM browser to use.
2. Click on the paper airplane icon
To navigate to Instagram Direct, click on the paper airplane icon in the web page’s top right hand corner.
3. See all your Instagram DMs
All your brand’s direct messages and interactions show here. Unread direct messages will show first in the list.
You’ll also see the option to create a new DM. Click on the blue Send Message button to begin a new interaction.
Type in a user’s handle to begin a new one-on-one interaction. You can message any brand or user that you follow.
Or create a group for an Instagram DM. On Instagram Direct, you can send DMs to up to 32 people.
From your desktop, you can also like, copy or report a DM by clicking on the three buttons next to the Instagram DM.
4. Send other users’ content
As well as written messages, Instagram DMs can include photos, polls, GIFs, Instagram Stories and IGTV clips. Your brand might want to interact with users by sharing other users’ content in a DM.
Navigate to the photo, video or IGTV you want to share privately. Click on the paper airplane icon under that post.
Then, select how you want to share that content.
By clicking on Share to Direct, you can type in the Instagram user you want to send the content to directly via Instagram DM.
How to send Instagram DMs from the Instagram app
Sending Instagram DMs from the Instagram app is just as easy:
How to send Instagram DMs using Hootsuite (on desktop and mobile)
If you manage more than one Instagram account or your brand receives DMs on more than one social media platform, a social media management tool like Hootsuite can save you a lot of time.
With Hootsuite, you can answer messages and comments from all of your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts in one social inbox. No more clicking through countless browser tabs to check for new DMs, or accidentally forgetting to respond until customers get fed up.
To start answering Instagram DMs using Hootsuite, follow these simple steps:
1. Connect (or re-connect) your Instagram profiles
If you’re part of a team managing social media DMs, you can easily assign messages to other team members (who will be notified by email) and sort your inbox by assignment, social network, message type and date.