Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world today. Being able to quickly and easily share what’s happening in your life, without the fluff of Facebook is actually relaxing. Now, the company is bringing new features to your computer.
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Instagram announced that it has started to rollout Instagram DM to the masses. This makes it possible for you to read and respond to messages from your web client, instead of having to pick up your phone.
How to use Instagram DM on your computer
Instagram DM on your MacBook is pretty easy to access, as the company has added many familiar features. Here’s how you can get started:
- Navigate to instagram.com from your browser on the Mac.
- Enter your username and password.
- Tap Log In.
- From your home screen, tap the paper airplane icon in the top menu bar.
From there, you can view all of your direct messages that have been previously sent over the years. From the sidebar, you can tap the pencil icon and create a new message, or tap the blue Send Message button on the right.
What features does Instagram DM on the Mac have?
After logging into Instagram from your MacBook and opening your Direct Messages, you have many of the same features from the mobile app. This means you can just send and receive messages like any other chat platform.
As for individual message threads, you can click the the information (I) icon in the top right-hand corner. This will give you a few different options:
- Mute Messages
- Delete Chat
The profile and name of the user is also shown, and when clicked, you are taken to their profile right from in your browser. When messaging back and forth, you will get a red badge on the DM icon in the menu bar. This lets you know when someone has sent you a new message so you can check it at your convenience.
As for the messages themselves, you are given a few options in the bottom Message toolbar. You can quick send emoji’s with the icon on the right, share pictures from your MacBook, or just send a heart.
Another neat feature is the fact that you can actually see when someone is typing back to you. From within the message, a tiny prompt will appear, that simply says Typing….
Being able to view your Instagram DM from the web also allows you to view any possible Requests. These appear if you have a private profile, and have to approve messages from unknown users.
On the top of the sidebar, a button that says Request appears, and when selecting that, you are taken to your Message Requests. You can go through and delete them all, respond, or just go back and ignore them altogether. Although that badge will continue to appear.
What limitations are there?
It should not come as a surprise that there are a few limitations when using Instagram DM on your MacBook. This is not a fully-fledged messaging solution, so here are a couple of things you cannot do:
- No ability to view IGTV
- No ability to view disappearing messages
Considering that these were designed for the mobile platform, it makes sense that you can’t view them on the web. But who knows, maybe Facebook will surprise us in the future and change things up.
Where’s the Instagram iPad app?
Perhaps the biggest complaint amongst iOS users is the lack of a dedicated iPad app. Sure, you can download the app onto your iPad, but all you get is a blown-up iPhone version that is super wonky to use.
There was some hope after Facebook acquired Instagram that the company would change that, but it hasn’t come. Back in February, the CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, revealed the reason in an Instagram Story.
We’d like to build an iPad app, but we only have so many people and lots to do, and it hasn’t bubbled up as the next best thing to do yet.
Mosseri also stated that the company is still busy innovating and testing new features, with “lots to do”. That’s not really the answer we would be hoping for, especially now that the iPad is 10 years old and still has no native way to browse Instagram.
But perhaps now is the perfect time to start using Instagram in Safari on your iPad. You’ll miss out on some features, but with Safari providing a desktop-class experience, you can do much of what you would want to from a dedicated application.
While Instagram has seemingly no plans to truly provide a dedicated iPad app, at least there are new features coming out. Maybe the plan is turn Instagram into another full-functional social media platform, regardless of whether you’re mobile or on a desktop.
It makes perfect sense to bring the people something similar to a Facebook 2.0, with a focus on pictures. Nonetheless, let us know if you have any questions about using Instagram DM on your MacBook. Are you going to start using this feature? Or are you going to stick to using IG on your iPhone?
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.