How to DM on Instagram

Send a private message to someone

What to Know

  • Tap the Messenger icon at the top right, tap a current conversation, then send a message. Or, tap Message on any user's profile.
  • Start a new chat: Tap the Messenger icon, then tap the New Message icon. Search for or tap a user, tap Chat, then type and send a message.
  • Send a photo or video directly from Instagram: Tap a current conversation, then tap the Camera icon in the message box.

This article explains how to use Instagram Direct to send DMs (direct messages) to other Instagram users and Facebook Friends. We'll cover group messages, sending photos, sharing posts, and more.

How to Send an Instagram DM

Direct messaging is one of the few Instagram features available on the web and the app. These instructions show you how to DM via the app only. Screenshots provided are for the iOS version, but the steps for the Android version are nearly identical.

  1. On the Instagram home tab, tap the Instagram Direct icon in the top right corner. If you've updated the app, this is the Messenger icon. If you have an older Instagram version, this icon is a paper airline.

    Facebook integrated its messaging with Instagram and WhatsApp, so if you've updated Instagram, you'll see the Facebook Messenger user interface in Instagram's direct messaging feature. You'll also be able to send direct messages to Facebook Friends.

  2. You'll see a list of recent conversations. Tap one to send a message to that person or group, then type your message and tap Send.

    Continuing an Instagram conversation, with the Messenger icon and Send highlighted

    Note

    If you send a message to someone who doesn't follow you, your message will appear as a request in their inbox. They'll have to approve before you can message them again. However, if another user added you to their Close Friends, your messages will go straight to their inbox regardless of whether they're following you.

  3. To start a new conversation, tap the New Message icon.

  4. Type a name in the search bar or scroll to tap a suggested Instagram user. Or, scroll down to find Facebook Friends to message.

    Tap the microphone to record and send a voice message. Tap the image icon to send a photo or video already on your device. Tap the Giphy icon to send an animated greeting. Tap the Camera to take and send a photo or video message.

  5. Tap Chat, then type your message and tap Send. You've started a new conversation.

    Instagram chat with the New Message icon, Chat, and Send highlighted
  6. In your message inbox, you'll see if and when a recipient has opened your message. If they haven't yet opened it, you'll see when you sent it.

    Instagram direct messages with Seen and Sent timestamps highlighted

Doing More With Instagram DMs

Instagram DMs are deeply integrated with many Instagram features, allowing you to take advantage of the messaging platform in more than just the most basic ways.

Group Messages

  • To start a group chat, tap the New Message (pen and paper) icon, search for or tap the people you want to include, then tap Chat. Type your message, add photos, emojis, or GIFs if you like, and tap Send.
  • To name or rename a group chat, tap the chat, then tap the current group name or participant list at the top. Next to Group Name, add a name or rename the chat.
  • To add or remove chat members, tap the conversation, then tap the chat name or participant list at the top. Tap Add People to add more users to the chat. To remove a member, tap the three dots next to their name, then tap Remove From Group.
  • To leave a group chat, tap the conversation, then tap the chat name or participant list at the top. Scroll down and tap Leave Chat. If you're the creator, tap End Chat to remove everyone, including yourself, from the group and end the chat.

Send Photos and Videos in a Chat

  • To send a photo or video that's already on your camera roll, tap a current conversation or group chat, then tap the photo icon in the message box. Select the photo or video you want to send, then tap Send.
  • To send a photo or video directly from Instagram, tap a current conversation or group chat, then tap the Camera icon in the message box. Take a photo or video, and tap Send. You can also take a Boomerang and send it.
  • To send a photo or video that disappears, similar to Snapchat, tap a current conversation or group chat, then tap the Camera icon in the message box. Take the photo or video, then tap View Once from the options. Tap Send. Alternatively, tap Allow Replay to allow the recipient to see the photo or video again, or tap Keep in Chat to let the photo or video remain in the chat.

Video Chat via DM

Tap the video camera icon in the top right of a DM conversation to instantly video call the user or group through Instagram.

DM Someone From Their Profile

Tap Message on anyone's profile to instantly start a new DM conversation with them.

Send Photo and Video Posts in a DM

Tap the Share icon (paper airplane) beneath any photo or video, then select the users you want to share the post with. Tap Send.

Send Reels in a DM

When viewing a Reel, tap the Share icon on the right of the screen. Search and select the users you want, then hit Send to send them the Reel.

Send Stories in a DM

Before posting a story, tap Send To > in the bottom right and then tap Send beside one or multiple users to send it to them as a direct message.

DM Replies to Stories You View

When viewing other people's stories, tap inside the message field at the bottom of the screen to type something, then tap Send. Alternatively, tap the smiley face to send an instant-reaction emoji, such as a heart or clapping hands.

Was this page helpful?