Instagram has kickstarted the launch of direct messaging on the web today. For now, it’s only a test with a “small percentage” of users but the feature is rolling out globally.
Update 4/10: Direct messaging on the web is rolling out to all users around the world today (via The Verge). Instagram said the rollout began at 10 a.m. ET. To check if you’ve got access with your account, head to Instagram.com and look for the Direct Message icon in the top right corner.
As reported by The Verge, Instagram’s Direct Message UX on the web will be almost identical to iPhone and Android:
The direct messaging experience will be essentially the same through the browser as it is on mobile. You can create new groups or start a chat with someone either from the DM screen or a profile page; you can also double-tap to like a message, share photos from the desktop, and see the total number of unread messages you have. You’ll be able to receive desktop DM notifications if you enable notifications for the entire Instagram site in your browser. Instagram says it’ll “continue to iterate” on this during the test.
The Verge’s Ashley Carman asked Instagram why DMs on the web would come before an iPad app and a spokesperson dodged the question, highlighting that it’s still not a priority for the company.
When asked why Instagram prioritized web DMs over something like an iPad app, a company spokesperson referred The Verge back to its usual justification and said that DMs on the web help its users “stay in touch with the people you care about.”
The move is in line with Facebook’s push to unify it’s messaging services across all of its platforms.
You can check out if you’re part of the small group of users around the globe who has access DMs on the web now. Instagram hasn’t shared when it might roll out the feature to all users.
DMs, but make them desktop. 👍
We’re currently testing Direct messaging on the web, so you can read and reply to your messages from wherever you are. pic.twitter.com/VJ06EpETxG
— Instagram (@instagram) January 14, 2020