Direct Messaging

Sending & Receiving Messages

Instagram Direct lets you send messages to one or more people. You can send the following things as a message on Instagram Direct:

To see messages you've sent with Instagram Direct, tap in the top-right corner of Feed. From there, you can manage the messages you've sent and received.

When you send a post from Feed using Instagram Direct, it'll only visible to people who can already see it. For example, if you send a post from a private account as a message, only people who follow that account will be able to see it.

Photos or videos sent with Instagram Direct can't be shared through Instagram to other sites like Facebook or Twitter, and won't appear on hashtag and location pages.

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When someone you follow sends you a message with Instagram Direct, you can view it by tapping in the top right of Feed.

If someone you don’t follow sends you a message, it’ll appear as a request in your inbox. To decline or allow the message, swipe left on the message then select Decline or Allow at the bottom of the screen. You can also tap Decline All at the bottom of the screen to ignore all requests at one time. When you allow a message request from someone, their future messages will go directly to your inbox.

Learn more about reporting abusive messages.

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With Instagram Direct, you can send messages, photos and videos to one or more people. Messages won’t appear in Feed, search or your profile.

To send a message using Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner or swipe left from anywhere in Feed.
  2. Tap in the top-right corner.
  3. Select people you'd like to send a message to, then tap Next.
  4. Type a message. You can also tap to take and send a disappearing photo or video, or to select a photo or video from your library.
  5. Tap or Send.

To message someone you follow, you can also go to their profile and tap Message.

Note: Links you send using Instagram Direct will appear in the conversation with a preview image. When you send an address or phone number, you can tap it from within the conversation to open your phone’s maps app or make a call.

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You can send a disappearing photo or video either as a group or individual message. After someone opens a disappearing photo or video you've sent them, the message is no longer visible in their inbox.

To send a disappearing photo or video:

  1. Tap in the top left of the screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed. You can also go to your inbox to reply to messages you've received.
  2. Tap the circle at the bottom of the screen to take a photo or video, then choose to add effects.
  3. Tap in the bottom right, then select people or groups you'd like to send to:
    • When you select multiple people, they'll each get separate, individual messages.
    • When you select a group, it starts a single group conversation that anyone in the group can reply to. To create a new group, tap New Group in the top right, select people then tap Create.
  4. Tap Send at the bottom of the screen.
Keep in mind that you can only send disappearing photos or videos to people who follow you or have already approved messages from you.

Note: When you send other things using Instagram Direct (ex: posts from Feed, text, hashtags), those messages don't disappear and will remain visible in the conversation.

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To see disappearing photos and videos you've sent, tap at the top-right of Feed and tap the conversation.

You can't view disappearing photos or videos after you've sent them, but you can see if they were delivered, opened, replayed or if someone took a screenshot.

After you send a disappearing photo or video to someone, you'll see it as part of your conversation in direct (example: You sent a photo) along with the status of the message (example: Delivered, Opened, Replayed, Screenshot). For group conversations, tap where it says the status of your message to see its status with each person in the group individually.

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To replay a disappearing photo or video you've received, open the conversation and tap Play Again next to the message right after you've received it.

Keep in mind that you can only replay a disappearing photo or video right after you've received it, and that the person who sent it will be able to tell that you've replayed it or taken a screenshot.

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You can send posts you see in Feed as a direct message. Messages won't appear in Feed, search or your profile.

To send posts you see in Feed as a direct message:

  1. Tap below the post you'd like to send
  2. Search for and select the person or group you'd like to send the post to (up to 15 people)
  3. Add an optional message and tap Send

You can also send a post as a Direct message by commenting on it. To do this, mention the accounts you'd like to send the post to at the beginning of the comment, then tap Send. Tap to switch between sending the post as a message and posting a comment.

Note: When you send a private account's post as a message, only people who follow that account will be able to see the post. The person who uploaded the post won't be notified.

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When you send a profile as a message, it will show the person's name, username and a preview of some of their photos. To send a profile as a message using Instagram Direct:

  1. Go to the profile you'd like to send as a message
  2. Tap in the top right, then select Share this Profile
  3. Search for and select the person or group you'd like to send the profile to (up to 15 people)
  4. Tap Send

Profiles sent using Instagram Direct are only visible to people who can already see them. If you send a private profile as a message, only people who follow the account will be able to see a preview of their photos.

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To send a hashtag as a message using Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap the hashtag you'd like to send
  2. Tap in the top-right
  3. Search for and select the person or group you'd like to send the hashtag to (up to 15 people)
  4. Tap Send

When you send a hashtag as a message, it will appear with a preview of Top Posts from that hashtag page. Keep in mind that messages sent using Instagram Direct won't appear on hashtag pages.

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To send a location page as a message using Instagram Direct:

  1. Above a post, tap the location to go to the location page
  2. Tap in the top-right
  3. Search for and select the person or group you'd like to send the location to (up to 15 people)
  4. Tap Send

When you send a location as a message, it will appear with a preview of posts that include that location. Keep in mind that messages sent using Instagram Direct won't appear on location pages.

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To unsend a message you've sent using Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner of Feed
  2. Select the conversation and go to the message you'd like to unsend
  3. Tap and hold on the message, and then select Unsend

Once you unsend a message, it will no longer be visible to people included in the conversation. Keep in mind that the people you sent it to may have already seen your message.

Note: You're not able to unsend disappearing photos and videos you send using Instagram Direct.

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Yes, you can send a message to anyone when you use Instagram Direct. If you send a message to someone who doesn’t follow you, it'll appear as a request in their inbox. If someone allows your message request, your future messages will go directly to their inbox.

Keep in mind that you can only send disappearing photos and videos to people who follow you or have already approved messages from you.

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Group messages with Instagram Direct can include up to 15 people.

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Managing Your Conversations

You can create a new group conversation in Instagram Direct by sending a message to 2 or more people. To create a new group conversation:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner of Feed
  2. Tap in the top-right corner
  3. Select 2 or more people you'd like to send to, then tap Next
  4. Type a message, tap to select a photo or video from your library or tap to take a new one
  5. Add optional effects, filters and a caption
  6. Tap Send

Once you create a group conversation, you can add a name for it. To name a group conversation, tap in the top right of the conversation, add a name to the space labeled Group Name and tap Done.

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When someone sends you a disappearing photo or video, their profile picture will appear in your inbox with a blue ring around it and your conversation will appear in blue. Tap their profile picture to view the photo or video, or tap to go to your conversation without viewing it.

To reply to a disappearing photo or video, tap to the right of the conversation. You can also open the conversation and tap . From there, tap to take a photo or video, or tap to send text. When you're done, tap Send.

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You can rename group conversations of 3 or more people. To rename a group conversation in Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner of Feed
  2. Tap the group conversation you'd like to rename
  3. Tap in the top right, and then tap next to Group Name
  4. Enter a new name for the group conversation, and then tap Done

Keep in mind that people included in the group conversation will be able to see that you've renamed it.

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When you mute a group conversation in Instagram Direct, you'll still be included in the conversation but won't get notifications from it. To mute notifications from a group conversation in Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner of Feed
  2. Tap the group conversation you'd like to mute
  3. Tap in the top right, and then tap next to Mute Notifications
  4. Tap Done
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You can add more people to group conversations that already include 3 or more people. To add people to a group conversation in Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner of Feed
  2. Tap the conversation you'd like to add people to
  3. Tap in the top right
  4. Tap Add People below Members
  5. Search for and select people you'd like to add, and then tap Done

Learn what people see when you add them to an existing group conversation.

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When you add people to a group conversation, they'll be able to see the previous messages in that conversation, except for disappearing photos and videos.

Learn how to report messages or block someone in a group.

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When you leave a group conversation, you won't get messages from the group unless someone adds you back to the conversation. To leave a group message in Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner of Feed
  2. Tap the group conversation you'd like to leave
  3. Tap in the top right
  4. Tap Leave Conversation, then tap to confirm
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To delete a conversation in Instagram Direct:

  1. Tap in the top-right corner of Feed
  2. Swipe left on the conversation you'd like to delete
  3. Tap Delete

Once you delete a conversation, it will no longer be visible in your inbox. Keep in mind that this only deletes the conversation for you, and that it will still appear for other people included in the conversation.

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You can report abusive photos, videos and messages that are sent to you with Instagram Direct:

  1. Open the conversation
  2. Tap and hold the individual message you'd like to report
  3. Select Report

If you'd like to report a post from Feed that was sent to you with Instagram Direct, you can tap the post and report it.

If you want to stop someone from sending you messages, you can block that person or report their profile.

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