Most Instagrammers know of the platform’s desktop website – a version that includes most of the mobile app’s functions, with a few exceptions. One of these includes Instagram’s direct messaging feature, a helpful messenger tool in keeping in touch with other users.
Below, we dive into how to DM on Instagram on PC; the various methods of doing so, and its advantages.
What’s an Instagram DM?
The “DM” in “Instagram DM” is short for “direct message”; a form of exclusive communication between two or more users.
Instagram’s DM tools are primarily available on their mobile app, with a variety of content options. On top of simple text messages, Instagram’s DMs also include a range of multimedia files.
Among these are Boomerang videos, filtered selfies, and collage grids of multiple snapshots.
Users are also able to share content from other users (these including standard feed posts and Stories), along with “disappearing” messages (more on these features later).
To send someone a standard Instagram DM, tap on the paper airplane icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
You can either start a message thread from a suggested list of users, or tap the “New Message” icon in the upper right-hand corner.
Search up the usernames you’d like to contact in the field provided.
Once you’ve chosen your recipient(s), tap the “Chat” button in the upper right-hand corner.
This then creates a new message thread where you can exchange simple text messages or photo and video files.
Hosting Video Chats
Instagram’s DM options additionally allow for exclusive video chats. In your DM homepage, select the camera icon next to the “New Message” option.
Select the user(s) you’d like to start a video chat with. Then, tap on “Start”.
A request will send to the user to start a video chat. They can either accept or decline your invitation.
Video chats also have the option of adding other users to the conversation. While hosting your chat, tap the “Add” button (symbolized through an icon of two people).
This will pull up a list of available users to include in your chat. Select users from the available list or search up other profiles in the field provided. As with individual video chats, these people will be notified of your invitation to join the conversation.
The Benefits of Instagram DM
With Instagram DM, users have the ability of directly contacting users, allowing for more efficient communication. Exclusive messages are far more effective in reaching out to other accounts; rather than getting lost or overlooked in a user’s public comment thread.
On top of its convenience, Instagram DMs also have the following benefits:
Sharing Content Exclusively
Other users’ content can be shared directly through Instagram’s DMs. These feature is available for both standard posts and Instagram Stories.
Sharing a post is as simple as tapping the paper airplane icon underneath the image or video. Select from the list of suggested users you wish to send the post to, or look up your desired recipients in the search field provided.
To share Story updates, tap the paper airplane icon at the bottom of your screen, and select or search for your recipients in the pop-up box displayed.
Disappearing messages are similar to “Snapchat” content. These messages are multimedia files that disappear after a being opened once (sometimes twice through the “Replay” option), and are perfect for mundane, on-the-fly updates or sensitive content.
To send a disappearing message, capture your desired photo or video through Instagram’s DM camera.
Slide over the displayed options that allow your recipient to view your content once, allow for a single replay, or to keep it in your chat thread forever.
The first two options keep your message temporarily up for viewing; self-destructing once its maximum views are used up. These “disappearing messages” are typically labelled with a bomb icon, and turn grey once they vanish.
Start Group Chats
Those looking to create an exclusive conversation between two or more members can form an Instagram group chat.
When creating a new message, simply check off two more more people from your contacts list (or those you’ve searched). This automatically makes a new thread of all included recipients.
Name your group chat in the pop-up field provided. This can also be done by tapping on the “i” button in the upper right-hand corner of your chat screen. Additionally options such as muting your message notifications, muting video chats or adding extra members can also be found on this page.
Host/Participate Engagement Pods
Though often kept on the down-low, engagement pods are highly effective way of boosting your overall engagement.
Simply put, these “pods” are exclusive groups of users who communicate through Instagram’s DMs. These groups are dedicated to interacting with one another’s posts, bumping up each other’s reach and engagement.
Joining an engagement pod can be challenging; though plenty can be found by browsing through Facebook groups, Reddit forums, or by simply asking around on the platform.
So, now that you’re up to speed with Instagram DMs and their advantages – how does one use this function on their desktop?
How to DM on Instagram on PC Method #1 – Windows 10
An easy method of using Instagram DM on PC is to download the free Instagram App for Windows.
This free program is available on the Microsoft Store. Search up “Instagram”, and download the app.
Once you launch the app and sign in, you’ll be taken to your Instagram homepage. This displays your feed as it shows on the mobile app, complete with the latest user Stories.
Instagram DMs are accessed via the appropriate icon on the upper right-hand corner.
The tool should function exactly as it does on the mobile app. Just select the users you’d like to contact (or search them up in the field provided), and then send your message!
How to DM on Instagram on PC Method #2 – Bluestacks Player
Bluestacks Player is a handy, well-known tool for emulating Android apps for one’s desktop. The program can downloaded for free through their official website.
Launch the app, then search for Instagram in the search field provided. Select the Instagram app and follow the installation instructions.
Through the Bluestacks Player, the entire app and all its functions can now be accessed and managed through your desktop. As with the Windows 10 app, Bluestacks displays Instagram’s interface exactly as it shows up on mobile.
Simply select the direct messaging icon and start contacting your desired users as normal.
Instagram on Bluestacks also allow users to upload photos directly from their PC. Existing media files are placed in Bluestacks’ “media manager”, available for access when uploading new Instagram posts.
How to DM on Instagram on PC Method #3 – Using Developer Tools
This method is only applicable to those with a Safari or Google Chrome browser; though is a free, easy, and effective way of configuring your desktop browser to look like the Instagram mobile interface.
For those using Google Chrome on PC…
Log on to Instagram.com. Then, right-click anywhere on the screen, and click “Inspect”.
This opens up a new window on the side of the screen, displaying coded elements on your page.
Next, select the small icon at the top of this new window that resembles a tablet. The icon should now turn blue, with your Instagram desktop homepage now resembling the your mobile feed display.
Above your Instagram homepage, select the drop-down menu that displays your smartphone view. Here, you can toggle between Google Pixel, iPad, iPhone, and Samsung Galaxy versions of your Instagram homepage. Select “Responsive”.
Refresh your page. This displays your bottom navigation panel. Close the “Inspect” window.
You can now select the direct message icon at the upper right-hand corner of your screen, and access or send Instagram direct messages as normal.
For those using Safari on a Mac…
Log into your Instagram desktop account. Select “Safari” at the upper left-hand corner of your screen.
Click “Preferences”, then select the “Advanced” tab.
At the bottom of this menu, select the option “Show Develop menu in menu bar”. Once you’ve checked this off, close the Preferences menu.
Select “Develop” in your browser’s menu. Hover over “User Agent”, then select “iPhone” on the menu that appears.
Your Safari browser should now emulate the look of Instagram’s iPhone interface – along with options to access and send direct messages.
How to DM on Instagram on PC Method #4 – Using a Third-Party Platform
Another popular method of sending desktop Instagram DMs is through third-party platforms.
While not many are currently available, below are two of the most reliable apps to get the job done.
Facebook Page Inbox
Instagram is currently owned by Facebook; so it’s no surprise that their page tools have recently expanded their options to manage your Instagram DMs.
In early 2019, the social media beast announced that users will now be able to access their Instagram DMs from their Facebook Page inbox. The once Facebook-exclusive tool then became an all-in-one stop for users to manage their page comments, Instagram comments, Instagram Direct messages, and Facebook page messages.
To receive and respond to Instagram DMs through your Facebook Page, it must be linked to your Instagram account. Then, simply select the “Inbox” option in your top navigation panel to look through your messages.
Using Instagram’s Creator Studio
Facebook has most recently extended these features to Creator Studio users. For those unfamiliar, “Creator Studio” is a sub-platform created for those with Facebook page, designed to streamline one’s access to page analytics, published posts, and audience insights.
To manage your Instagram Direct messages, select the “Inbox” tab at the left-hand side of your screen.
This then pulls up the same interface displayed from your standard Page inbox – complete with options to manage and respond to Instagram or Facebook comments.
IG:dm is a third-party program that enables users to receive, manage, and respond to Instagram DMs through a simple desktop app.
First, download the latest version of IG:dm on their official website. The application is available for use among Windows, Mac, and Linux users.
Upon launching, the app pulls up a window exclusively displaying your Instagram inbox. Most of the screen is reserved for your conversation threads, while the left-hand side of your screen displays your contacts and the option to search for other users.
To start a conversation, just click on a user and begin typing your message.
On top of basic messaging features, IG:dm also lets you view a list of users who aren’t following you back.
You can also disable “read” receipts, quote messages directly, and send multimedia files.
How to DM on Instagram on PC Method #5 – Google Chrome’s Direct Message for Instagram
With this browser extension, you can easily keep on top of the latest inbox updates.
At Google Chrome’s web store, add “Direct Message for Instagram” to your browser.
Any new messages you receive will then pop up as a notification on the upper right-hand corner of your browser. Click the your extension icon to view your message and the rest of your inbox.
You can send responses straight from the extension window, complete with a selection of emojis.
Additionally, users can send images to Instagram Direct as they browse through the web. Just hover over the picture you’d like to share, then select the extension option to “Send to Direct”.
If you ever want to disable these notifications, you can do so under the extension’s settings.
Why DM on Instagram on PC?
So you may be wondering – why go through all the trouble of sending Instagram DMs on PC? Why not just stick to mobile?
A desktop interface grants you a larger view of your inbox, helping you manage your messages much more efficiently. Typing up messages on a keyboard can also save you time, compared to tapping away on a small smartphone screen (not to mention those embarrassing autocorrect flubs!).
Some of these methods also streamline your marketing activities, such as Facebook’s inbox features – allowing users to access both their Instagram and Facebook messages at once.
Whatever method you choose, having the option to DM on Instagram on PC gives you flexibilty and convenience in managing your conversations; along with any customer complaints, queries, and concerns. Enhance your ‘gramming experience and adopt Instagram Direct on your PC today!