Instagram: How to Send a DM

Instagram: How to Send a DM

In this blog I’ve covered different types of social media platforms, what different kinds of interactions mean, and what kind of messages won’t get you replies. In this post I’m going to outline what a DM (direct message) is and how you can actually send one. According to my Google Analytics statistics, this is something that a lot of people are curious about.

You asked, I deliver

First of all, what’s a DM?

A DM is a private message between you and a single user or group of users

Can I send a DM to a user that doesn’t follow me?

You can DM anyone you want, but if you haven’t interacted with that user before it’ll show up in an outer-inbox (message request center) where that user can then filter what messages they see and get notifications for.

There are a few features in this outer-inbox that your normal inbox doesn’t have:

  • All images are initially blurred out, allowing the receiver to guess if a photo is explicit without actually having to see the explicit photo
  • Temporary videos aren’t visible unless a person accepts the message
  • Once a user has sent a message once, no more notifications are sent (sending many messages at once won’t increase your chances of getting their attention)
  • After a month, any messages that are still in the outer-inbox disappear. This means that if you haven’t gotten a response within 4 weeks, you probably won’t get a response to it

Once a user has allowed messaging from a person, the only way to disallow that is to block the user entirely. All future messages will show up in their regular inbox.

How do I send a DM to a user?

You can send a DM in a variety of ways and they’ll all go to the same place. If you can’t find a way to message the user, they’ve likely turned off or limited messaging permissions.

Sending a DM through a person’s profile:

Go to a user’s profile and click the ” … ” at the top right of their profile. If you’re on iOS a list of actions will pop up. At the bottom of the list will be a “Send Message” option which you can click.



Sending a DM through a story:

When a person posts a story there is an option at the bottom of the screen that allows you to send a message related to that story. This will send your message to them with the story as reference (so they’ll know what you’re responding to). If you don’t see this option, it means the user has disabled messaging on stories.

Sending a DM through your messaging center:

You can go to your own messages by clicking the paper airplane the top right of your screen. From there, click the + sign and you can search for any user and send them a message

Go to your inbox and press the + at the top of the page



There are lots of ways to reach people via DM. Whether you want to respond to something they posted, ask them if they’re open for collaboration, or you just want to introduce yourself. If you’re messaging someone you don’t know for the first time, remember that there are humans on the other side of the screen.

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