Monday, December 4

The Complete Guide to Using Instagram Direct Message (DM on Instagram)

The Complete Guide to Using Instagram Direct Message (DM on Instagram)

Direct Message on Instagram is tremendously powerful and helpful tool that few brands are using to its full potential.

It has a ton of quirky built-in features that many don’t know about, and it is an incredibly effective tool both for regular users, but more importantly, brands trying to get the most of Instagram by connecting with their audience.

In this article, I am exploring all of the features that Instagram Direct Message has to offer, how it works, and how you can use it to market your business. In other words, everything there is to know about the feature.

What is Instagram Direct Message?

Let’s start with the obvious.

Instagram Direct Messages, also referred to as DMs. Direct, and Instagram Direct is A built-in private messaging feature on Instagram that allows you to share photos, videos, or plain text with particular individual users, or groups.

You can send Direct Messages to everyone you follow, but you can also send them to any Instagram user, except for the people you are blocked by, however, when you send a DM to someone who isn’t following you, it will come up as a message request in the recipient’s inbox. The recipient can then decide if they want to approve or deny your chat request. If they accept it,  the messages you send to them in the future will go directly to their inbox. If they receive a message request, they are able to read your message without approving or denying it, and if that is the case, you won’t be able to see if they have read it unless they choose to accept it.

Just your regular text message or chat apps, the replies will appear as bubbles with the latest replies at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The messages you write will end up on the right side in grey, and the responses you get from the person(s) you’re chatting with will appear to the left in white.

Instagram Direct Message was introduced in December 2013, 3 years after Instagram first launched. The feature allowed users to take their conversations more privately, instead of having conversations in the comment sections of posts, the only place where you could talk to people before the new messaging feature.

How to send a Direct Message on Instagram

Sending a Direct Message on Instagram is super easy, and it can be done in several different ways.

If you’re a visual learner, (which most people are), you’ll love this quick tutorial from Sue B. Zimmerman that goes through 4 ways to send Direct Messages on Instagram. But don’t worry though, we’ll go through each of them in more detail, plus more, below!

The first method is done the traditional way by going to the Instagram app, tapping the house (home button) where you have your feed, and then tapping the paper plane icon at the top-right corner of your screen.

Once there, you tap the (+)-icon located in the top-right corner, type in the username(s) of the recipient(s) to select the person(s) you want to send your Direct Message to. When you’ve selected the people you want to send a Dm to, you tap ”Next” in the top-right corner and then start typing your message in the box at the bottom of the screen where it says:

Instead of writing a message, you can choose to send a heart emoji by tapping the heart to the right. You can also choose to send a video or photo from your camera roll by tapping the landscape icon located slightly to the left of the heart icon.

If you tap the blue camera icon directly to the left, you can send disappearing photos and videos that you take right on the spot, but more on that later.

The second method you can send a Direct Message on, is by going to the Instagram account of the person you wish to send a message to and tap the three dots located in the top right corner. A menu will then appear. Tap ”Send Message”. This will create a new chat with that person which allows you to talk to them directly. You can do this for both open and private accounts, but unless they’re following you, your message will show up as a message request in their inbox.

The first method of sending a Direct Message on Instagram is by sending a post to someone. If you see a post that inspires you, you can send that post directly to someone without having to take a screenshot of it first or tagging them in the photo. If you see an interesting photo that you wish to send to someone, tap the paper plan icon of the post located at the bottom left. Once you’ve done so, type in the account(s) you wish to send it to and tap send.

You can also tap ”New” Group” in the top-right corner of the menu that appears, and create a group of people to send it to. This will send it the post to a group of multiple members. You can also choose several accounts at once, but that will send the post to each and every one of the accounts in a private chatting group that only consists of you and the person you send it to.

The third method of sending a Direct Message is sending a profile. If you see an interesting profile, you can, just like you do when you send an individual post, send that profile to people through Direct Message. You can send it to groups, multiple people, or individual people.

You can also send a Direct Message by sending a hashtag or location. To send a location or hashtag, go to the hashtag or location you wish to send and select the people or groups you wish to send it to. Tap send.

How to create a Direct Message group

You can create Direct Message groups with up to 15 people.

The first way you can create a group is by going to the DM feature and tapping the + sign just like you do when creating a regular Direct Message.

Once you’ve done so, choose the people you wish to be included in your group. When you are happy with the people who are in it, tap ”Next” in the top right corner. Now, you’ve created your Direct Message group.

The second way of creating a group is when you send a post, profile, hashtag, or location. Find one of those that you want to send (for example a post you found interesting) and tap the paper plane icon as mentioned earlier. Instead of choosing particular individuals to send it to, you can tap ”New Group” in the top right corner of the menu and select the people you want to be a part of your group.

When someone sends something to the group. All members of it will be able to see what that person has sent. What’s more, an eye-icon will be presented at the bottom of the message with the username of the people who have seen that message so you’ll be able to see who has seen the message and who has not.

The eye icon will only be presented below the latest message that has been sent in the chat because Instagram expects that if people have seen the latest message, they’ve seen the rest of the messages that were sent earlier. In other words, there will only be an eye icon with the usernames of the people who have seen the message of the most recent message and not under every single one in the chat.

When creating a group, you can give it a name, but you can also change the name of the group whenever you like. Note that you can only change the name of a conversation that consists of 3 or more people because otherwise, it is not called a group.

To change the name of the group, go to your Direct Messages, tap the group you want to change the name of, tap the ”i” icon at the top right corner. Tap the name that your group currently has, located at the very top, and type in the name you want to change it to. When you’re done, tap ”Done”. Note that the people whoa re part of the group can see that you’ve changed the name of the group.

If you want to add people to your group after you have created it, you can do so. However, you should remember that you can only add people if you haven’t reached the limit of 15 people.

If you aren’t the one who created the group, you can also add people. This is done in the same way as if you are the one who has created it.

To add people to your Direct Message group, go to the group and tap ”i” in the top right corner. Tap ”Add People” at the top of the list of the members who are part of the group.

If you add someone to your Direct Message group, they’ll be able to see the previous messages in the chat except for disappearing photos and videos.

If you wish to leave a group that someone has added you to, go inside the group and tap the ”i” icon in the top right corner of the chat. Now, scroll down to the very bottom of this page and tap ”Leave Conversation”.

If you want to delete a group conversation in Instagram Direct, go to your Direct Messages and identify the group you want to remove. Swipe left on the group and tap ”Delete”. When you’ve deleted the conversation, it will no longer be visible in your inbox, however, it will still be visible to other people in the conversation. It is only deleted for you.

Related: You Can Now Send Links on Instagram Direct Message

How to like a Direct Message

You also have the ability to ”like” a Direct Message inside of a chat. This can be done both when inside a group and in a  chat with only one person.

If someone has sent an image, video, profile, hashtag, or location, there will be a white heart right below the message. To like it, you can either tap the heart or double-tap the message.

If someone has sent a text message, there won’t be a heart icon under it, however, by double.tapping it, you can still like it.

When someone likes a message someone has sent, their logo will be presented right under the message so you can see who has liked it.

How to see message requests

Not long ago, the message request from people you aren’t following was presented at the top to the right above your regular Direct Messages, but now, Instagram has updated the feature to prevent people from missing any message requests they might have (which was very common because the ”message requests” section was small and hard to spot) and added a new section at the top of your Direct messages: ”All” and ”Requests”. The latter with the number of message requests you have located just light of it.

This is how it looked before:

And this is how it looks now:

Quite the improvement in visibility, right? It’s hard to miss now.

How to send and view disappearing Direct Messages on Instagram

You can send disappearing photos and videos that you take right on the spot through Instagram Direct. You can then send this message to a particular person or a group. When someone has opened the message you sent, it won’t be visible in their inbox unless you’ve allowed replays on the disappear


ing message you’ve sent.

Source: Business Insider

This is how you send a disappearing photo or video through Instagram Direct:

Begin by tapping the camera icon located in the top left corner when you are at your home page, in other words, your feed. You can also open it by swiping to the right from your feed.

You can also go to your DM inbox and see messages that you’ve received.

When you’ve come to the photo screen, you can select a bunch of options based on the type of photo/video you want to send. You can also add effects to it once you’ve taken a photo/video you are satisfied with.

To start recording a video or to take a photo, tap or tap and hold (for video) on the big round button located at the bottom of your screen.

You can also send a disappearing message by going to the group or chat to of the person(s) you wish to send it to and tap the blue camera icon in the bottom left corner from inside the chat.

With disappearing messages, you can also send photos and videos from your camera roll and not only take them right on the spot. Previously, you could only send photos and videos from your camera roll that were made in the last 24 hours, however, that restriction is now gone.

When recording a video or taking a photo, you can choose between:

If you send a disappearing photo or video, you can choose ”View once” or ”Allow Replay” If you select allow replay, your photo or video will be looped, and the recipient(s) can see it as many times as they’d like. If you choose ”view once”people can only see your message once before it disappears.

If you’ve created a disappearing message from your feed and not directly from inside a chat, you tap ”send to” once you’ve taken a photo or video you wish to send. After this, you can select individual people to send it to, or choose to send it to a group that you’re part of.

You can also choose to create a new group to send the message to.

Note that you can only send disappearing messages to people who are following you or have received messages from you earlier.

To see disappearing messages that you’ve sent, tap the paper plane icon in the top right corner from the home page and tap the conversation in which you’ve sent your message to. You are not able to see temporary photos or videos that you’ve sent, however, you can see if they have been sent, opened showed again, or if someone has taken a screenshot of it. You are able to see this right below your disappearing message from inside the chat to which you sent it to.

When you’ve sent a disappearing message, you’ll see the status for that message (as mentioned above) as part of the conversation

If you want to view a disappearing message that you have received from someone, you open the conversation in which is has been sent and tap it. If the sender has enabled replays, you can tap ”Play again” to view it again. Remember that you can only see a temporary message directly after you’ve received it, and the person who sent it can see that you’ve seen it again or taken a screenshot.

When you’ve received a disappearing message on Instagram Direct, their profile picture will be presented with a blue ring around it and the conversation in blue. TO open the photo or video, tap the arrow pointing to the right, or tap their profile picture.

If you want to respond to their message with a disappearing message, you tap the camera icon and then take a photo or record a video and then send.

How to personalize and edit your disappearing photos or videos

Instagram offers an array of different ways you can edit your disappearing photo or video on before you send it.

To add text to your disappearing message, you tap the ”Aa” icon after you’ve taken a photo or recorded a video and pressed ”next”.

You’ll send have these options to edit your disappearing Direct Message. The catch, however, is that you need to have at least 10K followers to get the link feature where you add a website link that users can swipe up on.

To the right of the link icon is the sticker feature. This gives you access to both live stickers that ”moves” or changes, but also regular stickers.

When you’ve chosen a sticker you like, you can move it around and pinch it to enlarge or shrink it.

To the right of the sticker icon is the pencil. With the pen, you can paint on your image or video how much or how little you want. There are several different brushes you can choose from, a whole color pallet, and a “color matcher” that senses what color something in the image has and then converts that color to your pencil.

Last but not least are face filters. With face filters, you can add a filter on your own or someone else’s face which gives your photos or videos a fun touch.

How to unsend a Direct Message you’ve sent

If you’ve send a Direct Message, you have the option to unsend it. Note that this is not possible if you have sent a disappearing Direct Message.

Unsending a DM is the same thing as deleting an Instagram DM. It’s just that a different term is used.

To unsend a Direct Message, go to the conversation where you send the message and tap and hold on it. Now, you’ll get an option to ”unsend”.

When you’ve unsent a message, it will be deleted from the conversation and people won’t be able to see it anymore. You should have n mind though, that even if you’ve unsent it, people might have already seen it.

How to turn notifications off on Instagram Direct Message

If you’re in a group with many members who are writing endlessly, it can eventually be a little tiring, and therefore, you might want to turn off your notifications in that chat.

Or, you might want to turn off notifications in Direct Messages completely for all of your Direct Messages, and if that’s the case, you can do so as well!

The first way to turn off notifications is to do it on individual chats. This can be done for both groups and with individual people.

You can do this on as many chats as you want.

Go to the chat you wish to turn off notifications on, tap the ”i” in the top right corner and tap ”mute conversation”. This will

Note that if you’ve turned off your notifications completely from your Instagram settings, all your Direct Message notifications will be turned off automatically, and you’ll receive no notifications from Instagram Direct.

The second way (apart from turning off your notifications through the chat or turning off all your Instagram notifications completely) is go to your Instagram settings and selecting which notifications from Instagram Direct Message that you want to turn off.

Go to your profile and tap the settings cog wheel in your profile and scroll down until you see this:

Here, you have the option to change your notification settings only for your Direct Messages. First, you can select to turn off or on notifications for when someone sends you a chat request (when someone who you don’t follow you send a Direct Message).

You can also choose to turn off your notifications from Direct Message completely in the section below.

How to report a Direct Message or prevent a person from messaging you

If you receive inappropriate messages from someone on Instagram Direct, you can report them. To do so, open the conversation and then tap and hold the message you wish to report.

Then, tap ”report”.

If you don’t wish to receive messages from someone, you can block their account, or, if they are sending you inappropriate content, report their profile.

Ideas to use Instagram Direct Message (DM) in business and marketing

Instagram’s Direct Message feature can be used in a lot of different ways to market your business.

However, to use Instagram Direct Message to promote your business, you need to use it a little bit differently than you’re used to with other marketing efforts of yours.

Many people on Instagram only follow the people they want to follow, so from a marketing standpoint, you can’t use Direct Message like you would on other social media platforms and their private messaging service.

Instead, the foundation to generating great marketing results with Instagram Direct Message is actually using it as a tool to build relationships.

And this all comes down to bringing value.

Instagram Direct Message is a place where people have little interest in getting sold to, so you are better of skipping the terrible pitching lines and instead see Direct Message as a tool to strengthen and build relationships.

A tactic that is increasing in value after entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk talked about, is the following:

You begin by going to Instagram hashtags and searching for a hashtag related to your industry and niche.

The majority of people who have shared a post on that topic will most likely be potential customers of yours. When you’ve identified a person, look through their profile and see if something is bothering them, if they have a problem that can be solved or a pain point that your brand can fix.

The key here is to provide them with value by helping them out and giving them something – without asking for anything in return. If you are the one asking for the favor, you don’t have the leverage. However, when you have given them something of value, you start building your leverage.

Avoid sending a standard pitch message to people where you try to sell them after the first encountering. Chances are, people will delete your message or just ignore it. Instagram is not the place to sell on, it’s the place to build relationships.

Another method you can use is to make the person familiar with your brand before you reach out to them. Like a bunch of their posts and leave thoughtful comments on them. Now, wait a few days and then get back to them with a message. That way, they’ll have your brand in mind, but it will also make it seem like you aren’t spamming everyone but actually want to establish a genuine relationship with them. The more you interact with them, the more loyal they’ll be. And if you’ve helped them out with something or in any way brought them value, they’ll become even more loyal to your brand.

Remember, though, that strong relationships aren’t built overnight. They’re built by consistent and genuine interactions.

When reaching out to someone within your target audience, you can also talk about a passion that you’ve seen them share. Interacting with someone can actually be bringing value if the other person enjoys talking about it.

Plus, if you’re a large brand, they’ll feel honored to receive a message from you.

A mistake that many people do is hit up the biggest influencers and most famous individuals in there space. This is a big mistake. First off, you are probably not going to receive a response from them. In fact, they’re probably not going to see your message as it will end up in their ”message requests” inbox.

Secondly, you probably don’t have a lot of value to them. The top influencers and celebrities receive a ton of messages daily from brands, but unless your proposal brings them something more, it will soon be forgotten.

Send a post you just saw as a Direct Message

By now, you know that you can send individual posts to people on Direct Message. You also know that you can create a group of up to 15 people. If you have a team of up to 15 people, why not create a Direct Message group with them?

If you are more than 15, why not create different Direct Message groups for different topics and different divisions?

Instagram Direct Message is a really underestimated tool for interaction – both with your friends and business partners, but also with prospects of your brand.

If you see a post on Instagram that sparks your interest and that you think can bring value and inspire your team, why not send it to them? Simply tap the Direct Message icon in the bottom left corner of the post and choose to which groups you would like to send it to.

You can, for example, use this method to send posts of your competitors to your marketing team so you can together evaluate the things they are doing good and things they’re doing less well.

Let’s say that you see that your competitor has launched an influencer campaign. Then send that post to your team through Direct Message and ask them to evaluate the marketing posts and how you can make one that’s even better.

Customer Service

More and more people are taking it to Instagram to express their concerns or problems with brands, and therefore, Instagram Direct Message is an extremely effective tool that allows you to continue the conversation with your customer a little more privately.

Just take a look at the complaints that American Airlines is receiving on Instagram:

But the thing is that they’re not alone. Almost all brands have customer service related comments on their posts, but the sad parts is that all too few brands take the time to respond.

Since it is easier to handle your customer service messages in private one-on-one rather than in your very own comment section, Instagram Direct Message comes in handy.

If someone is saying how terrible in your comment section, it might scare people away from your brand if they then spot that comment.  Therefore, you need to respond to the comments even if you send them a Direct Message right after. That way, people will see that you take customer service seriously and that you haven’t ignored the disgruntled customers.

On social media, everything people write (except for private Direct Messages) is public and open for the world to see. As a result, brands want to deal with customer complaints as quickly as possible, because they want to avoid any negative exposure.

The key to great customer service on Instagram is responding quickly and letting them know that you’ll be sending them a private Direct Message where you can proceed the discussions.

You can either ask them to send you a Direct Message or, you can let them know that you will be sending them one. Ideally, you shouldn’t ask customers to do a bunch of stuff for you – especially not if they’re disgruntled, so it’s best if you are the one going through the effort of messaging them, and not the other way around.

When you use Instagram Direct Message, you can easily go back and look at your past interactions if you ever need to evaluate how well you did, or, even better, to follow up some time after you’ve talked to a disgruntled customer and ask them if everything is okay and going as it should. When you do, you show them that you genuinely care, and what’s more, since you talk to them one-on-one, they’ll feel unique and appreciated since you take the time to write to them personally.

Tip. Many people sell goods or services via Instagram remotely and don’t want to include their home address in their contact information. We recommend using a virtual mailbox for such purposes. You can choose the best virtual mailbox service using service.

Collect reviews

Since you’re having conversations with people who are your customers on Direct Message, why not ask them to leave a review for your brand? The great thing here is that since you are talking to them in person, they are far less likely to take out any aggression they might have, or exaggerate an experience they might have. Instead, they’re more likely to tell their honest opinion and let you know about the things that they think you do great instead of only pointing out the negative parts.

You probably know how effective and powerful testimonials are in marketing, so why not take advantage of them?

And why not use Instagram Direct Messages to get more of them?

Show your appreciation

Instagram Direct Message allows you to convey feelings and come off as more genuine than if you talk to someone through the comment section of their post. The more intimate the conversation is, the easier it will be to make your message look and feel genuine like you meant it. And this is something greatly important when you’re going to express your thankfulness to your most loyal supporters of your brand.

People love when brands reach out to them without a secret, hidden agenda. If you reach out to people who are loyal and engaged in your brand on Instagram, they’ll feel appreciated, acknowledged, and valued, and what do you think will happen?

Well first, they’ll tell all of their friends about how awesome you are.

And considering the fact that 92% of people trust peer recommendations, that quite valuable word-of-mouth marketing.

What’s more, you can be quite sure that they’ll continue supporting your brand even more actively, and thirdly, they’ll get an even more positive picture of your brand, and as a result, they’ll feel like they want to be a part of the movement you created that is so amazing. And for them, it can mean to buy more products from you!

By encouraging behaviors your audience has, you are able to make your audience show more of that behavior to you.

Customer behavior encouraging good behavior quote

This brings me to my next point, which is really just a continuation of this point, and that is rewarding your audience with the help of Instagram Direct Message.

Of course, showing your audience your appreciation is a way to encourage their behavior, but rewarding them is all about giving them something that has monetary value. It doesn’t have to be just money, but it should have some kind of value. Whether it is 1 dollar or 50 dollars, that is completely up to you, but remember that the better the reward, the more appreciated it’ll be.

Often time, rewards on Instagram are discount codes, coupons, or gift cards, and that’s where Instagram Direct Message comes in handy.

If you’re going to give your customer or loyal supporter a coupon code, should you give it to them by writing it in the comment section of one of their posts? Of course not. That way, people might steal it.

Instead, you should talk to them in private

The bottom line is that no matter if you choose to give your fans gifts or signs of appreciation, your audience will love you for it, and it will pay off dividends.

Lead Generation

Did you know that Instagram Direct Message is a tremendous tool for lead generation?

It’s true!

It can be used to generate leads and new prospects for your brand if used in the right way.

There’s a catch though, you cannot be spammy!

I touched upon this briefly earlier, but Instagram is a bit different from most other social platforms, and most people are only following the people and accounts that they want to see posts from and nothing else.

The bottom line?

They have no interest in being sold to.

The good news?

If you work with the jag, jab jab, right hook principle, which means give value, give value, give value, and then ask, people are far more likely to convert.

If you just send people automated spammy Direct Messages, the majority of people won’t open it, read it, or respond to it.

It’s one of the scenarios listed that are most likely.

However, if you find a way that you can actually bring value to them – and not just once, but time and time over, you will eventually have the leverage where you have given so much value that they feel guilt.

It’s just common business practice.

Whatever you do, stay away from the automated Direct Message services, because these won’t do much for you,  except maybe harm it.

Obviously, you have the biggest chance of success if you’re approaching people who have shown an interest in your niche and industry compared to those who haven’t, so use Instagram practices to finding your target audience and approach only those that are most relevant.

Here’s an example of how you can use Instagram Direct message to drive customers:

Go to Instagram locations and search for a competitor of yours. Let’s say you run a restaurant. Then obviously, you’d look at another restaurant’s physical location on Instagram.

Take a look at the people who have uploaded a photo using that location.

Scroll through the posts until you find someone who doesn’t seem too happy about their experience at the restaurant. Identify the parts that made their experience bad (for example service, bad food etc) and Direct Message that person saying something like this:

”Hi, Mike,

This is Jens here from Eastside foods!

I saw that you had a bad experience at the (your competitor). Definitely not the way you want your restaurant visits to play out. Just wanted to let you know about our restaurant located close to the one you just visited, however, we promise you that we’ll provide you exceptional service and definitely no cold food”.

Did you see what I did there?

I mentioned the issues that made their experience bad and promised them a solution. And remember that solutions to your customers’ problems is value. Always, always, always, provide value when approaching someone on Direct Message.

What’s more, if you want to incentivize the person, you can give them a discount, a special deal etc.

The great thing about this method (and similar ones) is that they aren’t spammy or pushy but tailored towards the person’s individual experience, making your message come off as far more genuine. What’s more, when you use this method, you show people that you care about them, while at the same time getting on their radar, increasing brand awareness, and potentially even getting them to convert.

Exclusive behind the scenes

Direct Messages on Instagram can be used to build up hype and increase people’s interest in your brand and to be a part of your ”Vip club”. To do this, you can offer your most loyal, and selected customers to get exclusive insights and information through Direct Message. If you’re going to use this method, make sure you only give it to a few as this will make the selected few to feel more unique and respected by your brand.

You can use this method together your audience to do something as people love being a part of something unique and feel like they’re special. You can, for example, get people to a membership, join a contest of yours, and so on.

But remember that if the exclusive content you provide isn’t interesting or even exclusive, this tactic won’t be very long lived. Make sure you give your VIP people something they are willing to do almost anything for.

Create a Community

Since an Instagram Direct Message group can consist of up to 15 people, you can build your very own brand community of people that are super tight and engaged.

You can arrange private discussions and create a sense of exclusivity of being a part of your group. If you succeed in doing this, more and more people will want to be a part of your little community as they feel unique and special. What’s more, they’ll also become more engaged in your brand.

You can offer your most loyal supporters sneak-peaks, behind the scenes looks etc. to make them up-to-date with what your brand is doing so they can go out and tell everyone.

Here are two common questions about Instagram Direct Message:

Direct Message Doesn’t Show certain messages, what should I do?

if you suspect that Instagram isn’t showing all your messages, you can try these things:

  • Update the app
  • Delete and reinstall the app
  • Log out from your Instagram account and then log in again
  • Check ”message requests”

Is it possible to see deleted Direct Messages on Instagram?

When you tap and hold, and then select unsent on a Direct Message you’ve sent on Instagram, there is no way for you to get it back.

Will you get a notification if someone screenshots on Instagram DM?

As mentioned earlier, people will be able to see if you’ve screenshotted their “disappearing direct message”, but if you’re just screenshotting the DM chat, there will be no way for people to see if you’ve screenshotted the conversation.

Can you see if your Direct Message has been opened and seen?

It’s a different story with disappearing Direct Messages on Instagram, but if you’re sending a regular direct message, will you be able to see if the person has seen your message on Instagram DM?

The answer is yes.

If your Instagram Direct Message has been opened or seen, it will say “seen” right below it if the recipient has seen it.

I have received an Instagram Direct Message notification but no message, why?

If you’ve received a notification from Instagram saying that you got a Direct Message, but then when you look, there is no message, chances are that the person that sent the message pressed “unsend” before you went to look what they had written or sent.


As you can see, Instagram Direct Message can be used for a ton of things.

It can help you build better relationships and make your customer interactions more genuine and intimidate. At the same time, it is an excellent tool to manage your customer complaints, and much more.

How are you using Instagram Direct Message?

Let me know in the comment section below!


    • Jens Wirdenius

      Hi Barbara,
      Can it be the case that you’re sending direct messages to and DM group of several accounts? If you only send to one person, that message should only go to one person. Have you tried creating a new direct message by tapping the + in the top right corner, searching for the account you wish to send to, and then sending them a new message?
      Hope it helps!

  • Des Bernard

    Hi there,
    Can you tell me the way instagram datestamps on an instagram dm, for example if the date and month is not followed by the year, can I assume the messages were exchanged this year (2019) and if it was stamped as 10 OCT without the year, means messages were exchanged 10 OCT 2018 going by the most recent past year? Thank you for your kind help.

    Ms Bernard

    • Jens Wirdenius

      Hi MS Bernard!
      Yes, you are absolutely correct. Instagram always dates the Direct Messages by the most recent year.

      Regards and hope it helps!

  • Caryl

    Thanks for the useful article. What does a blue point mean next to the name in DM? That the person is online? Even though I did hide my activity status?

    • Jens Wirdenius

      The blue point next to a name should mean that they are verified, as it is also displayed in the DM chat if that is what you mean?

      Kind regards,

    • Jens Wirdenius

      Hi Kaitlyn!
      It is not possible to find a list, however if you scroll up in the conversation, you will find a small hear beneath each message that you heave hearted.

      Hope it helps!

  • Sarah

    Hi, I received some likes in direct messages, but I can’t see which likes? is that normal?
    I received some push notifications from instagram, but I don’t know where I can look into these again (like you can see all your last notifications in Facebook).

    • Jens Wirdenius

      Hi Sarah!
      This means that someone liked your post and then removed their like.
      This is why you can’t see it but received a notification.

      Hope that helps!

    • Jens Wirdenius

      Hi Jessica!
      There is a limit to how long a DM can be, and I think it’s around one or two hundred words.
      Two ways to send longer messages:
      Send a screenshot of text instead of written text. The second hack is to send your longer text in pieces as several messages.

      Hope it helps!

  • Tony

    Has anyone had the issue of deleted messages being resent randomly?
    I will delete an entire conversation, and hours or even days later, messages from that conversation will pop back up in my Direct messages. Sometimes dozens of them, but only messages sent to me, no messages that I have sent.

    • Jens Wirdenius

      Hi Tony!
      Thanks for sharing!
      I have never had that issue and frankly never heard of it either.
      It sounds very strange. Have you tried:
      -Updating the app
      -Logging in and out?

      Hope it helps!

  • Halesssss

    How do you know if someone has watched a direct video sent to them? Considering you’ve sent several along with some photos. Given the order sent, example: pic video pic pic pic video pic

    If the videos are greyed out does that mean they’ve been watched but the person didn’t open the thread?

  • If you opt to “ignore” a person on direct messaging for Instagram instead of “blocking” them, can you still retrieve the message later and if so, where?
    I read that you can still retrieve the message on that person’s profile, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    • VELOCE

      If the messages have disappeared after you have ignored them (and then unignored them), it is not possible to retrieve them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *