How to DM on Instagram

Abbreviations are rife on Instagram, spanning both the tools available to users and the ways in which different users communicate…

Abbreviations are rife on Instagram, spanning both the tools available to users and the ways in which different users communicate with each other.

DM is one of the most commonly used abbreviations on and off the app and refers to a Direct Message that one user can send to another: whether they be a private user, a business page, or someone they don’t know. Your DM chat with another user is also where you will find all engagement and interactions with their Instagram stories and vice versa.

In this article, we’re sharing a basic guide to DM’ing, including how to send a message, how to make sure you don’t miss any messages, and a few handy terms to help you “up your Instagram DM game”.

How to Send a DM

Sending a DM to another user couldn’t be easier.

  1. Open Instagram and navigate to your home screen
  2. Click on the paper airplane icon in the top right hand corner of the page
    How to DM on Instagram 1
  3. Using the search bar, type the name of the user who you want to send a direct and private message to
    How to DM on Instagram 2
  4. This will open up your DM stream, where you can proceed to send a message or image directly to that user
    How to DM on Instagram 3

Alternatively, you can message a user directly from their profile page.

Once on their profile page, simply click on the ‘Message’ button under their bio, and this will bring you to the same message stream.

Unlocking DM Requests

If you’re expecting a DM from another user but haven’t seen it yet, it may have ended up in your Requests box.

Typically, any message sent to you by someone who you don’t follow will end up in Requests, as a means of protecting you from unwanted contact.

To access these Requests, and to approve or block future messages from these users, follow these three steps:

  1. Navigate to your DM inbox, via the paper airplane icon in the top right hand corner of your home screen.
  2. Underneath the profile stories updates from users who you regularly interact with, click on a greyed out button which reads ‘Requests’.
  3. Here you will see messages that have been sent to this Requests inbox by Instagram, as well as a secondary inbox labelled as ‘Hidden Requests’. These are likely to be spam, though it is always worth checking this hidden inbox to check that nothing has fallen through the net and ended up in the wrong place.

Once in your Requests inbox, you can approve and send messages to your regular inbox, or delete and block them, by swiping left on the message.

Deleting a DM

There are two different uses for the ‘Delete’ button on Instagram.

  1. Deleting an entire message chain with another user
  2. Deleting a single message that you have sent to another user

To Delete a Message Chain…

  • Find the message chain that you want to delete
  • Swipe left on the name from within your inbox, and click the red ‘Delete’ button
  • When invited to Permanently Delete Chat, click ‘Delete’ again

To Delete a Single Message…

  • Find the message that you want to delete, within your DM stream
  • Click and hold your finger on the message that you want to delete
  • Click ‘Unsend’ with the bin icon next to it
  • The message will disappear on both yours, and the other users, DM feed

DM Lingo That You Should Know

Finally, a few other abbreviations and DM-friendly terms that you should know…

  • HBU: How About You?
  • AMA: Ask Me Anything
  • BTS: Behind The Scenes
  • CTA: Call To Action
  • DYK: Did You Know
  • IDK: I Don’t Know
  • SM: Social Media

What other acronyms and abbreviations do you think are worth sharing? Let us know!

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