How to DM on Instagram 2021


What to Know

Tap the messages (paper airplane) icon in the top right of the home feed.Select a user from the list or search for someone using the search field at the top.Type something in the message field at the bottom (or tap one of the icons to the right) and then tap Send.

Instagram DMs (direct messages) allow you to have private conversations with other Instagram users. The following instructions will show you how to send a basic DM to someone on Instagram.

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.

On the Instagram home tab, tap the messages icon (which looks like a paper airplane) in the top right corner.

Instagram will show you a Primary list of users you've interacted with most lately. Tap a user to message them or use the search field at the top to search for someone specific and select them from the list of suggestions.


If you intend to send a message to someone who doesn't follow you, your message will appear as a request in their inbox, which they'll have to approve first 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.

Tap the message field at the bottom of the screen to type a message.


You can also tap the microphone icon to send a recorded voice message, the image icon to send a photo from your device, or the plus sign icon to see two more options—the sticker icon to send stickers/GIFs and the speech bubble icon to save replies.

Tap Send.

Your message will be sent. You'll receive a message notification (depending on your notification settings) when the recipient has replied, which will prompt you to tap the message icon on the home feed again to access your message.


If your recipient has seen your message but not replied yet, you'll see a time stamp beneath your last sent message. Similar to photo posts, you can double-tap the recipient's last message to like it.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 to continue your DM conversation.

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.

DM Multiple Users in a Group

When accessing your messages from the home tab, tap the pencil and paper icon in the top right corner to select multiple users and essentially create a new DM group.


You can add additional users or remove existing users from a group conversation by tapping the circled i icon in the group conversation's top right corner. Tap Add People to add more users or tap the three dots beside any group user, followed by Remove From Group to remove them.

Send Disappearing Photos and Videos via DM

Tap the camera icon beside a user's name in your messages list, at the bottom of the screen or to the left of your message field in an existing conversation to take a photo or video, which will disappear once your recipient(s) have viewed it. You can allow the photo or video to be replayed once and keep a preview of it 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(s) 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 messages icon beneath any photo or video post to search and select the users, then hit Send to send them the post.

Send Reels in a DM

When viewing a Reel, tap the message 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 DM.

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 the message icon to send it as a reply.