Instagram is finally bringing its direct messages service to the web, and it works exactly as you’d expect. The feature is no doubt part of Facebook’s (that owns Instagram) increased focus on private messaging and matches similar features offered by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Instagram has said the ability to send DMs on the web is rolling out for a “small percentage” of users at the moment, so don’t worry if you’re not one of the lucky few that has access.
Just like hiding likes from posts, the ability to send DMs on the web is apparently only a test from the social media giant, meaning it may or may not roll out to everyone in the near future. That’ll all depend on how the feature is received.
Still, it would make a lot of sense for Instagram to match the functionality offered by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger that both allow you to continue conversations on your computer.
The ability to send DMs on the web would be especially useful for Instagram in our humble opinion. Although the social media network doesn’t pitch itself as wanting to be everyone’s primary messaging platform, the ability to reply to Stories has led to us engaging in more conversations on the platform than we ever thought we would. So the ability to discreetly reply to messages in the office would be a huge plus.
As noted by The Verge, Instagram’s Web messaging service functions almost identically to its mobile iteration. Users are able to see if they have any unread messages from their feed and can send text, photos and other media from their computer.
Of course, you can still double-tap on messages to like them and desktop notifications are also included, too.
The testing of the feature for Instagram comes to little surprise to fans that have kept track of Facebook’s focus over the past year or so. In fact, at its annual developer conference back in April, Mark Zuckerberg said private messaging was one of the “fastest-growing areas of online communication”, along with groups and Stories.
It’s also possible the new functionality could tie into Zuckerberg’s ambitious plan to integrate the messaging services of Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook itself.