How to DM and Send a Disappearing Photo on Instagram

Recently I was asked how to DM on Instagram. DM means direct message which is the same as sending a private message. Instagram is perfecting this feature and has made it much easier to use.

There are a couple of ways to send a private message which I will explain below in steps.

Sending a DM:

  1. Open your Instagram app
  2. Go to the house icon on the bottom of your screen farthest to the left
  3. Now look to the top right and you will see an arrow that looks like a paper airplane (see #1 on image for example). If you have received messages, you will see a red number instead. Tap whichever icon is there.
  4. On this screen, you can tap + New Message, select the names of the recipients, type your message, and then hit send. You can send to multiple people just the same as you would with email.

Note: only those who you follow will be able to send a DM to your inbox. Everyone else will fall into the ‘messages’ category (in a separate screen) where you will have the option to allow or decline the message. (see #2 on image for example)

Sending a disappearing photo or video (see # 3 on image for example):

  1. Follow steps one through three above.
  2. At the top left corner of the screen, you will see a camera (see #4 on image for example). Tap the camera.
  3. You will be taken to a camera setting. The same camera you use to do your Instagram stories, boomerang videos, and Instagram Live.
  4. To capture a photo, tap the button above ‘normal’. To capture a video, hold the button above ‘normal’ until it stops.
  5. In the bottom right corner, hit the arrow in the white circle.
  6. If you choose someone from the list, they will receive your photo or video. But guess what? After they view it, it will disappear. Pretty cool! Note: this is not to be confused with Instagram story.

Sending a post as a direct message:

  1. Beneath every post, you will find a heart, comment bubble, and arrow that looks like a paper airplane.
  2. Tap the arrow and a ‘Send to’ box will pop up at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Select the people you want to send the post to.

You might be wondering why bother sending a post as a direct message. I can think of several reasons. Sometimes when you tag someone in a post, it gets lost in their notifications because their account is so active. Other times, you may find a post to be funny but inappropriate and prefer that no one knows you thought it was funny. Instead, you send it privately to your friends. And lastly, some people are just very private and do not want anyone to publicly know what their actions are on social media.

The downside to Instagram DMs… If someone sends you multiple messages before you’re able to retrieve them, it is easy to miss them, so be sure to scroll up.

Overall, this is a great feature for communicating and building relationships on Instagram.

Suzzette Turnbull is the CEO of Uncommon Marketing and a social media speaker and trainer. Connect with her on Facebook at Suzzette Turnbull and on Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope at @suzyturn. Be sure to subscribe to the website for more social media tips, resources and upcoming trainings. Click the Books Tab for more info on her social media eBook.

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