Social Media Instagram 94 94 people found this article helpful What Is Instagram Direct? An Intro to the App's Messaging Feature Learn how to send direct, private messages on Instagram by Elise Moreau Freelance Contributor Elise Moreau is a writer that has covered social media, texting, messaging, and streaming for Lifewire. Her work has appeared on Techvibes, SlashGear, Lifehack and others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Elise Moreau Updated on January 22, 2020 The Ultimate Guide to Instagram The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Introduction Instagram Basics How to Use Instagram Instagram Tips for Beginners Check Messages on Instagram Add or Change an Instagram Background Search Instagram for Tags and Users Add Music to Instagram Video Use Instagram Video Chat Try Instagram Shopping Get Verified on Instagram Clear Search History on Instagram Posting on Instagram The Best Time to Post Save a Draft of a Post Repost an Instagram Story See Previously Liked Posts Post a GIF to Instagram Add Multiple Photos to Stories Save Instagram Videos How to Quickly Repost Photos Saving Photos Deleting Photos and Videos View Saved Posts With Instagram Collections Working With Followers Mute Someone on Instagram See Who Unfollowed You on Instagram Block Someone On Instagram Unblock Someone on Instagram See Who Viewed You Great Tools to Track Comments Remove Followers on Instagram Tips to Get a Shoutout on Instagram Attract More Instagram Followers Delete 'Suggestions for You' IG Tips & Tricks Instagram Tips and Tricks to Try Add Highlights on Instagram Learn About Instagram Direct Use Instagram's Close Friends Feature How to Delete or Deactivate Your Account Reactivate Your Account Reset Your Password Get Started With Location Tagging How to Repost Shoot Videos with Instagram Video Understanding IG Privacy & Security Hide Your Story on Instagram Does IG Send Screenshot Notifications? 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Use Instagram on a PC or Mac Get Instagram for iPad What is the Galaxy S10 Instagram Mode? View Instagram on the Web Online Connect Instagram to Facebook Tools for Posting From the Desktop Tweet Share Email Instagram Direct is a private messaging feature on the popular mobile photo sharing app Instagram. It allows users to share the following with one or multiple users in a group: Plain text messagesPhotos or videos from your device's libraryDisappearing photos or videos you take through the Instagram appInstagram profilesInstagram photo or video postsInstagram hashtagsInstagram locations Although Instagram has been around since 2010, no private messaging was available on the platform until Instagram Direct was finally launched in December 2013. If you wanted to contact another user, you could only do so by commenting on one of their photos or tagging them in a comment on another photo. Why You Should Use Instagram Direct Instagram Direct is useful if you have a lot of followers and need to share specific information with specific people. Sometimes, not everything necessarily needs to be shared with everybody — especially if you have such a large audience. It's also useful if you want to connect more privately with someone you discovered (or who discovered you) on Instagram. Instagram Direct lets you get more targeted and personal with specific individuals or groups so that you don't end up spamming everyone else's feed with photos or videos that aren't exactly relevant to them. You might also be interested in learning about Instagram's Close Friends feature, which allows you to share your stories only with a certain group of people. How Instagram Direct Works An Instagram Direct message can be sent to anyone you're following. You can also send them to any user you're not following, but they'll show up as a message request in their inbox that they have to approve first. Keep in mind that they can reject your request. This helps protect users' privacy from potential spam and abuse. If they approve your request, however, all your future messages will be sent to their inbox even if you're not following them. You can reply back to an Instagram Direct message the way you would on any other private messaging app. All message replies appear as bubbles so you can easily follow along with the conversation. If you use Instagram Direct, you need to know about how Instagram notifies users of screenshots. Where to Find Your Instagram Direct Inbox Each time somebody sends you a new message, you'll be notified when using the app and possibly through push notifications if you have them enabled. On the home tab at the top of the screen, a mail icon is displayed to the right of the Instagram logo, which takes you to your Instagram Direct messages. The app also displays notifications when you receive new messages or interactions, which may pop up as instant notifications on your device if you have them enabled for Instagram. You can tap the mail icon in the top right to access your inbox and start composing a new message by tapping the plus sign (+) icon in the top right corner of the screen. Just type the usernames of the users you want to include in the To: field. Existing conversations appear in your main messages feed. Tap any conversation to see your messages and reply, or swipe left on any conversation and tap Delete to remove it. Instagram also gives you the opportunity to give group messages a name and the option to mute incoming group messages whenever you want. You can also leave any group conversation you're part of without deleting the whole group message itself. Sharing Posts via Instagram Direct Directly beneath every Instagram post, there are several buttons you can tap to interact wit the post. One of those buttons is marked by the Instagram Direct paper airplane icon, which you can tap to share the post via private message. Users previously shared Instagram posts with their friends by tagging their usernames in the comments. Since these come up as notifications, they could be easily missed if tagged users receive a lot of them, making Instagram Direct a better option for making sure shared posts are seen. Reporting, Restricting and Blocking Users in Instagram Direct If someone is sending you abusive photo, video or text messages through Instagram Direct, you can report them by opening the conversation and tapping the circled "i" in the top right. You have three options to choose to limit their communication with you: Restrict: Limit unwanted interactions with the user without unfollowing or blocking them, control whether others can see their comments on your posts and move their chat your Message Requests so they won't see when you've read their messages. Report: Inform Instagram whether a user is spending spam or inappropriate content. Block: Block a user to remove them from your followers and completely prevent them from messaging you, seeing your profile or re-following you.