Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Instagram isn’t just about photos and videos. The social network also allows you to communicate with family and friends using Instagram DMs.
Instagram DMs are a private chat function primarily accessible through the smartphone app. And here’s everything you need to know about Instagram DMs.
How Can I Send and Receive DMs on Instagram?
It’s easy to access your DMs via the Instagram app. After signing in, your feed will load. If there’s a particular person you want to contact, click on their profile, then click on Message. A new chat thread will appear.
From here, you can:
- Take a photo by clicking on the Camera button
- Write a message
- Make an audio recording using the Microphone
- Send an image from your Camera Roll
- Access GIPHY for GIFs and Stickers
You’ll need to give Instagram permission to access your photos and microphone first. You can do this through your smartphone Settings.
To see all of your chats, click on the paper airplane symbol in the top-right of your feed. This is also where you’ll find any DMs you receive.
And yes, there are ways to check Instagram DMs online if you can’t access the app.
How Do I Send an Instagram Post Through DMs?
If you see a post in your feed that you’d like to share privately, click on the paper airplane symbol beneath the post. This is next to the Comments function. A list of regular contacts will appear. Alternatively, you can search for anyone you follow.
This is also how you add someone else’s post to your Story.
How Do I Make Group Chat DMs on Instagram?
You can send a post to a new or established group by following the above steps, but then clicking + in the Search bar.
To start a group chat similar to WhatsApp, navigate to your DMs. Click on the button that looks like a pencil in a box. You’ll see a list of followers under “Suggested”. Tick the people you want to add. If you have lots of followers, use the Search function.
Can I Share Profiles on Instagram DMs?
Let’s say you’ve found another Instagram profile you think your friend would love. You could tag them, or send a post as a DM.
Or you could go onto the profile in question and tap on the ellipsis symbol in the top-right of the interface. Then click on Share This Profile or Send Profile As Message, depending on the version of the app you’re using.
How Do I Use Video Chat on Instagram?
Video chats are also accessed through Instagram DMs.
Click on the relevant person’s conversation feed or start one if you haven’t already. To initiate a video chat, click on the camera symbol in the top-right, next to the profile name.
How Do I Mute DMs on Instagram?
Perhaps you’re having a busy time and can’t be bothered with Instagram right now. Or maybe someone is being particularly annoying. If so, you can mute DMs from individuals, meaning you won’t see notifications when you receive a new message.
Just click on that person’s chat thread, then click on the i button in the top-right. The Details page will appear, allowing you to Mute messages and Mute video chat.
How to Like DMs on Instagram
You can like a DM in the same way you like normal posts on Instagram—just double-tap on the image or text. A small heart will appear underneath.
How to Unsend DMs on Instagram
Oops. You’ve sent a message you wish you hadn’t. Can you unsend a DM on Instagram? Fortunately, you can, although it doesn’t help if the recipient has already seen it.
Tap and hold on the message you want to withdraw. Two options will appear: Copy and Unsend. The latter will make it disappear from the thread entirely.
Instagram often tells you whether the other person has read the message too. It’ll say “Seen” below the post. However, if the other person has notifications turned on, they’ll probably have seen it already.
Can You Read Instagram DMs Without Being Seen?
Read receipts can be useful. They can also be a headache. And you can’t turn them off.
So, is there a way to view a direct message on Instagram without the sender knowing you saw it? It is possible, although it can be fiddly.
Firstly, you can read short DMs on your smartphone by enabling notifications. Do this by going on Settings > Instagram > Notifications. This doesn’t always work, though. The DM might be too long to read in its entirety. It might be a picture that’s too small to see. Or you could miss the notification.
There is another way you can read DMs without the other person knowing. Actually, it’s similar to how to secretly take screenshots on Snapchat. We cannot guarantee its effectiveness, but more often than not it works.
Load the app and check on your DMs, but do not click on the message. Navigate away from Instagram, but don’t close it. Turn off Wi-Fi and Mobile Data by simply clicking on Airplane Mode. Go back to Instagram. Now, you can read the DM without the other person knowing.
Next, go to Settings > Log Out. You can have numerous Instagram accounts—in which case, you need to log out of them all.
Close the app, then turn Airplane Mode off. You then need to log back into your accounts. If it’s worked, Instagram should say there’s a new notification waiting for you.
What Are Instagram DM Suggestions Based On?
Below your conversations, you might see further contacts listed as “Suggested”. These suggestions are based on several things.
They could simply be followers who you already follow back; in this case, Instagram encourages you to communicate. They can be based on your whereabouts if you’ve activated location services, or based on people you actually know if you’ve granted Instagram access to your Contacts. Suggestions can also be profiles you’ve visited, regardless of whether you followed them.
Can I Stop Seeing Profiles in Suggestions?
Seeing someone you don’t like or who you’ve fallen out with in DM suggestions can be off-putting. So what can you do to stop certain profiles from appearing in your DMs?
Your best option is to block that user. To do this, visit their profile and click on the ellipsis in the top-right, then tap Block. This will also stop them from being able to interact with you at all on the platform. Don’t worry: if you make amends, here’s how to unblock someone on Instagram.
How to Create Multiple Instagram Accounts
Chats can get messy, especially when you’re trying to have numerous conversations in one thread. Sometimes, you need to separate users depending on your personal situation. Try having a list of DMs for colleagues and another for friends, for example.
With that in mind, here’s how to create multiple Instagram accounts.