Now, you can DM photos, videos on Instagram

R. Dinakaran Chennai | Updated on December 13, 2013 Published on December 13, 2013


Instagram has introduced Instagram Direct, where users can send photo and video messages to friends.

The new feature comes close on the heels of a similar feature introduced by Twitter.

Share with a select few

An Instagram blog post said there were “moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people—an inside joke between friends captured on the go, a special family moment or even just one more photo of your new puppy. Instagram Direct helps you share these moments”.

A new icon on the top right corner of the home feed in the Instagram apps for Android and iOS will take the user to the inbox where pictures and videos sent by people to the user will be displayed.

According to the blog, “To send a photo or video to specific people, tap the camera button to enter the same simple photo or video capture and editing screens. At the top of the share screen, you’ll see the option to share with your followers (“Followers”) or to send to specific people (“Direct”). To send using Direct, tap the names of the people you want to send your photo or video to, write your caption, tap “send” and you’re done.”

The blog says the user will be able to find out who has seen the photo or video and see those who have liked them. The user can also “watch your recipients commenting in real time as the conversation unfolds”.

The user will be able to view the photos and videos received from people he follows. “If someone you’re not following sends you a photo or video on Instagram, it will go to your requests so you can decide if you want to view it,” the blog post says.

The new version of Instagram is available both in the Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

While the recent Twitter update allows users to send only photos, Instagram has enabled sending of videos too. This is also likely to counter the “me too” Instagram clones flooding the Play and App stores.


The updates by Twitter and Instagram have already raised concerns about porn. Snapchat, the ‘pioneer’ of private picture sharing, deletes the shared picture in seconds, but it is not the case with Twitter’s pictures in Direct Messages and Instagram Direct. The pictures stay on forever in the recipients inbox till they decide to delete them.

Laura Stampler, writing in Time, said in a story headlined “Instagram’s New Feature Might as Well Be Called ‘Direct Sext’”, “While nudity and spam already abound on Instagram, even though it’s against the rules, you had to follow someone to see those images. Now they come to you! (Although you do have to approve a post request from someone who you don’t already follow and block them if you didn’t like what you saw… and never ever ever want to see it again.)”

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Published on December 13, 2013
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