Perhaps the most annoying part about using Instagram anywhere else but your mobile app, is the fact that we couldn’t DM. You simply had to be on your pone to DM through the app.
While I’m not sure what changed their mind, I noticed that Instagram has now allowed us to send DMs while using a laptop or desktop! Or rather, use it while on the web.
The Verge might’ve given us a clue as to how this whole thing came about, saying, “Instagram has been testing web DMs with a small group of users since January, and the experience isn’t changing with the wider rollout. Since that test started, Instagram has made small updates to more closely mimic DMs on the app, like including the emoji keyboard and adding a gallery view to photos and videos.”
This means that more of us are going to see this wonderful feature. That’s awesome!
My other theory is that Zuck & Co. decided that this was a perfect time to roll a new feature like this out. He’s not wrong. More of us working from home due to quarantine and stay-at-home orders means more laptop and desktop use, so it’s convenient.
I checked out this feature with my own Instagram account, and it’s true! This is what I saw on my laptop.
The Verge also suggested where Mark Zuckerberg might be taking Instagram and other platforms in the future. Their article says:
Bringing DMs to the web fits with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s broader vision for the company’s future. Zuckerberg told The New York Times last spring that “private messaging, groups, and Stories” were the “three fastest-growing areas of online communication,” and the company announced a year ago that it would shift toward becoming a “privacy-focused communications platform” with a focus on encryption.
He also said he eventually wants to allow Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram users to message each other, regardless of the platform they’re using. The browser could potentially play an important role in making this system work, if only to give users even more flexibility about where they have conversations.
In other words, we’re going to see more apps encourage private messaging as a means to engage with followers. We’re also going to want to make tactful use of stories.
More to come. Stay tuned!