what does dm means in instagram

What is DM in Social Media?

Nowadays we use abbreviations and slang vocabulary to communicate through social media. This is more common between young people but it is becoming popular each passing day. If you’ve seen the abbreviation “DM” on social media, and you don’t know the meaning, here’s all you need to know about it.

There are countless abbreviations with various meanings, and they’re all ever-expanding, ever-changing. DM is among the most commonly used ones: DM me, slide into your DMs, random DMs, and so on.

So what does DM mean? When people ask you to DM them, they’re referring to a “Direct Message”.


what is a dm on facebook


A direct message is a private communication between social media users and is sometimes referred to as a private message. When you send a direct message only you and the people you send the message to can see what you write. . 

Another popular term is “slide into your DMs” which refers to direct messaging a random user and sends an unexpected private message on a social media platform in an attempt to get your attention. In most of the cases this comes from someone who wishes to initiate a conversation with you because they found something appealing about your profile. It is a way of saying they find you attractive or appealing. 

But also, you could innocently slide into someone’s DMs for non-romantic reasons. But the phrase often has flirtatious connotations.


Most social platforms offer DM functionality like Instagram,Twitch, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

The requirements to use DM features may change for each platform. Some require a valid phone number while others require that you must follow each other to dm and not spam certain accounts. Also for security reasons to avoid hacking or to avoid collapsing your inbox. 

As you can see each platform has specific rules in terms of private communication as “dms” for example on Twitter you can message anyone who has their DMs open or in case they have it closed if you and the specific person follow each other on the platform. 

On TikTok, you can only message people you follow. Mainly because they have really younger users and in this way they avoid receiving harmful messages.


what is a dm message

Also read: Most important Instagram Challenges

Now let’s talk about Instagram, cause the dms on this platform goes to a new level. You can turn off Message Requests on Instagram.

Inside the platform you will find a different inbox. Let’s put some examples:

  • If you directly message someone on Instagram who doesn’t follow you, your DM shows up a request in their inbox—that’s where spam usually ends up.
  •  If you direct message someone on Instagram who does follow you, your DM shows up in the Primary inbox. Usually people with a lot of followers only allow notifications from the Primary inbox so they can still talk and see all their friends’ messages.
  • If you receive a harmful message, weird pictures or a message from an account that is suspicious, Instagram have this new tool were they put all of this messages in a inbox separate from the request inbox called “Hidden request”


what are dm on social media


As you can see there is much more about DMs that you only can see from the surface. Platforms work everyday to create a good environment and a safe place in their platforms specially what happens behind closed doors. So here are a few tips to keep it safe while chatting privately on Social Media.

  • Take care not to send inappropriate things—that can get you blocked or even kicked off of a platform. It’s also not uncommon for people today to screenshot the inappropriate DM and share it on the internet. Be careful what you send and if you are sure with who you are talking to. 
  • If you are in business, try to avoid copy-pasting the same message to multiple people. Platforms can shadowban your account for spam. Be careful. So, when DMing people, try to keep it personal.
  • While you are writing people give them time to go through their DMs and see yours and figure out if they want to message you and how. People are often busy, so don’t assume they’re outright ignoring you.
  • Lastly, if you come across someone that has “no DMs” on their social media profile, respect that. And, concurrently, if you see “DMs open”, feel free to chat. Don’t be pushy and don’t be overly eager.


Also read: Learn how to use Instagram’s Branded Content Tool