Messenger Features on Instagram

Getting Started

This feature may be unavailable if you're located in Europe or messaging an account based in Europe to respect new messaging service rules. We're working to bring it back.

Note: Messenger features on Instagram are only available on the Instagram app for Android and iPhone.


Messenger features on Instagram allow you to connect in new ways with friends who use Facebook and Instagram. You'll be able to use new messaging features like swipe to reply to messages, react with any emoji and chat with friends who use Facebook – all without leaving Instagram.

What's changing on Instagram?

You’ll automatically be able to:

  • Receive message requests and video chats from Facebook accounts directly on the Instagram app.
  • Be found by Facebook accounts based on your Instagram account’s public info (example: profile picture, username, bio).
  • Search for friends who use Messenger by typing their Facebook name.

If you want to reply to a message from or send a message to a Facebook account, you’ll need to update to Messenger features on Instagram.

Learn how to manage who can send you message requests and block accounts you don’t want to hear from.

What other Messenger features on Instagram will I have access to?

If you update to Messenger features on Instagram, you’ll have access to new messaging features. In chats with friends who use Facebook and Instagram, you’ll be able to:

  • Send messages, disappearing messages and start video chats
  • Reshare posts
  • Change your chat color
  • React with any emoji and add effects to your messages
  • Send animated selfie stickers
  • Swipe to reply to messages

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Messenger features on Instagram aren't available to everyone.

You can update from Direct to Messenger features on the Instagram app for Android and iPhone. To update:

From the Instagram app for Android and iPhone

Tap in the top right, then tap Update. You can also:

  1. Tap or your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
  2. Tap in the top right, then tap instagram-settingsSettings.
  3. Tap Update Messaging, then tap Update.

Note that once you update, you won’t be able to go back to using Direct.

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Using Messenger Features

Note: This feature is only available on the Instagram app for Android and iPhone. You’ll need to update to Messenger features on Instagram to use it.


You can watch videos and posts in a video chat with other Instagram and Facebook accounts. You’ll be able to choose from TV shows, movies, IGTV videos, reels, and other posts on Instagram.

If you’re video chatting with a Facebook account, that account can share Facebook Watch videos to watch with you.

To watch something together:

Instagram app for Android and iPhone
  1. Tap Media at the bottom of your active video chat.
  2. Find something to watch. To browse through different categories of videos and posts, tap:
    • to watch TV shows and movies
    • to watch IGTV videos
    • to watch or view posts you’ve liked
    • to watch or view suggested posts
To stop watching videos or posts together, tap in the top right.

Keep in mind

While watching videos or posts together:

  1. Changing the volume or muting what you're watching will only affect your device.
  2. Tap to pause a video, or tap and drag the scrubber at the bottom of the video to skip ahead. The video will also be paused or skipped ahead for the account you're watching content with.

Why can’t I watch a specific TV show or movie?

If you’re having trouble watching a TV show or movie, keep in mind that:

  • Some TV shows and movies may only be available in certain countries. You’ll see an error message if the account you’re video chatting with doesn’t have access to the TV show or movie you want to watch.
  • Based on the age provided for an account, certain accounts may not be able to watch TV shows or movies above a certain rating.
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This feature may be unavailable if you're located in Europe or messaging an account based in Europe to respect new messaging service rules. We're working to bring it back.

Note: To use vanish mode, you must update to Messenger features on Instagram.

Vanish mode lets people send each other disappearing messages, photos, videos and other content in a chat. Content sent in vanish mode disappears when someone leaves the chat or turns vanish mode off.

To turn vanish mode on or off:

Instagram app for Android and iPhone:
  1. From your chat, swipe up to turn on vanish mode.
  2. Tap Turn Off Vanish Mode at the top or swipe up to turn it off.

You’ll get a notification on Instagram if someone sends you a message in vanish mode. Tap on the notification to enter a chat with them in vanish mode. You’ll also be notified if they send you a new message outside of vanish mode.

Keep in mind that:

  • You won't be able to copy, save or forward disappearing messages.
  • Accounts you haven’t connected with before can’t send you message requests in vanish mode.
  • You can only use vanish mode in a chat with another Instagram account. You won’t be able to use it in a group chat or in a chat with a Messenger account.

Only use vanish mode with people you trust. For example, it's possible for someone to:

  • Take a screenshot or screen recording of a message in vanish mode before it disappears. You’ll receive a notification if this happens.
  • Take a photo of a disappearing message with a camera or other device before it disappears.

Learn more about reporting messages in vanish mode.

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Managing Your Info and Message Requests

When you update to Messenger features on Instagram and you start a chat with or reply to a Facebook account, they’ll be able to see:

  • When you’re typing a message
  • When you’ve seen their message

Note that Instagram accounts you connect with are already able to see the above.

Keep in mind

  • Updating to Messenger features on Instagram doesn’t change who can see your stories or posts.
  • Messages only appear on the account they were sent to. Messages sent to your Instagram account won’t appear in your inbox on the Messenger app.
  • When you search for someone, you may see results for both their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Messages to the same person’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will appear as separate chats in your Chats list.

Learn how to manage who can send you message requests and block accounts you don’t want to hear from.

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If you're not seeing the options below, make sure your app is updated to the latest version by visiting the Google Play Store or App Store. Keep in mind that if you add your Facebook account to Accounts Center, you’ll see more privacy settings.

To manage who can send you message requests on Instagram:

From the Instagram app for Android and iPhone

  1. Tap or your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
  2. Tap in the top right, then tap instagram-settingsSettings.
  3. Tap Privacy, then tap Messages.
  4. Choose whether message requests from potential connections or other people go to your Chats list (inbox), Message Requests folder, or whether to receive them at all.

Note that you’ll need to accept message requests in your Message Requests folder before they appear in your Chats list. Messages from people you follow on Instagram will appear in your Chats list.

Group Settings

You can choose who can add you to groups. Group chats between Instagram and Facebook accounts are currently unavailable.

  1. Everyone on Instagram: Group chats from an Instagram account you’ve already connected with will appear in your Chats list. All other group chats will be sent to your Message Requests folder.
  2. Only People You Follow on Instagram: People you don’t follow won’t be able to add you to a group. They’ll see you don’t allow everyone to add you to groups if they try.

Accounts you’ve blocked won’t be able to send you message requests or add you to groups. If the account you’ve blocked is in a group chat you’ve been added to, you’ll be notified before you join the chat.

Learn how to report a message on Instagram.

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Blocking and Reporting

To block or unblock an account while using Messenger features on Instagram:

From the Instagram app for Android and iPhone

  1. Tap the person’s username at the top.
  2. Tap Block or Unblock, then tap Block or Unblock.

What happens when I block a Facebook or Instagram account?

You can block accounts you don’t want to hear from. When you block an account, that account won’t be able to:

  • Send message requests to or start video chats with your Instagram account.
  • Add your Instagram account to groups. If the account you’ve blocked is in a group chat you’ve been added to, you’ll be notified before you join the chat.
  • Join a room you’re in if you’re logged into your Instagram account and they’re logged into the account you’ve blocked. You can leave the room at any time.
  • Receive messages or video chats from your Instagram account.

Note that if you block an Instagram account, that account won’t be able to see your story or posts. Learn more about blocking Instagram accounts.

People aren't notified when you block or unblock them. Keep in mind, if you have a Facebook account, the account you blocked will still be able to message or call your Facebook account, unless you also block them on Facebook.

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Vanish mode is only available in some countries on the Instagram app for Android and iPhone.

If you think someone’s message or chat sent in vanish mode goes against our Community Guidelines, you can report it for up to 14 days after the messages disappear, even if you can’t see it anymore. If you report a message more than 14 days after it disappears, the report won’t include that message.

To report a specific message sent in vanish mode:

  1. From your chat, tap and hold the message you want to report.
  2. Tap Report and select the reason you want to report the message.

You’ll also see options to restrict the account or block the account that sent the message.

To report a chat that includes messages sent in vanish mode:

  1. From your chat, tap the username at the top.
  2. Tap Report and select the reason you want to report the chat.

Messages or chats that go against our Community Guidelines can include bullying or harassment, threats and sexual violence or exploitation.

What happens when I report messages sent in vanish mode?

When you report messages sent in vanish mode, those messages will be decrypted and sent securely from your device to our Help Team for review.

Your report is anonymous, except if you’re reporting an intellectual property infringement. The account you reported won’t see who reported them.

Learn more about safety on Instagram.

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