You Can Make Private Messages on Instagram Better

For years, an Instagram DM was an experience you had, not something you enjoyed. The social media app was so focused on photo sharing that it left out things like standard messaging features like custom notification settings. But ever since it boldly announced that it is no longer a photo-sharing app , Instagram has started to slowly turn things around, recently launching chat themes, a true search feature, and other tweaks designed to improve Instagram messaging. Here are a few features you might not know about and how to use them to improve your DM game. (Note: These features are slowly rolling out, so you may not have all of them yet.)

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How to send messages to your close friends with a simple gesture

This feature shows that Instagram is increasingly focusing on how users actually use Instagram DMs: to share cat memes with their friends. With this change, you can now share faster than ever: you can now press and hold the send button on a message and see four photos at the top representing your most used profiles. Drag your finger over your profile photo and release to send the post.

Instantly reply to Instagram DM messages

You can now continue browsing your feed while you’re talking to people on Instagram DM. The new in-app notification banner can be expanded so you can reply to someone directly from there.

Sending a message without notifying the recipient

If you’re trying to send a message to someone (or a group) at night or any other time you don’t want the notification to go out, type ” @silent ” before the message. The message will still be sent, but the user will not be notified about it.

Get the full Snapchat experience with Vanish Mode

Like Snapchat, Instagram DM also allows you to send disappearing photos and videos. But what if you want the whole conversation with all the text and photos to disappear after a while? You can now enable Disappear mode by swiping up in any chat. Once you exit Disappear mode, all chats will be deleted. If someone takes a screenshot while in Fade Mode, you’ll get a notification.

Try a new theme

Instagram DM introduced the themes a while back and new additions are coming out from time to time. The last theme, lo-fi, gives the app a cool vibe, but there are plenty of other themes to choose from. Click the ” i ” button in the header and then go to the “Themes” section to view.

Search via chat

Want to find incriminating evidence from a conversation six months ago? Instagram DM will now help you with this. Open a chat, tap the ” i ” button on the top and navigate to ” Search Conversation ” to get started.

Make group private messages less intense

Group chats can get noisy quickly, but you can control this using the DM level notification settings. Open the group DM and press the ” i ” button. Here you can turn off all messages, mentions or calls. You can also enable approval for new members so that the group doesn’t become a spam hub overnight.

Avatars, polls, and other ways to make private messaging more fun

See the little Plus button in the bottom corner of your Instagram private messages? It hides quite a few features. The first is Quick Replies , where you can create custom shortcuts that expand to entire phrases or sentences. This feature is similar to iPhone text replacement , but limited to the Instagram app.

Click the “Stickers” button and you’ll see ” Avatar ” and ” Polls ” options. Avatar is Facebook’s version of Memoji Stickers that allows you to create your own avatar and send it as a sticker instead of using emoji. The Polls feature works just like Stories, allowing you to quickly get responses from everyone in a group chat without having to send out a dozen notifications.

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