No matter who’s sliding into whose Instagram DMS, you can’t deny that they have come a long way. From a feature Instagram once didn’t even have to a cultural phenomenon and the start of several relationships, it’s easy – but unadvisable – to underestimate the importance of Instagram’s direct messages.

You might wonder how and why, exactly Instagram DMs could be so important. Aren’t they just a simple tool for messaging your friends? To that, we say, of course not! Instagram DMs are a way to engage a fanbase and to directly interact with your favorite creators. But if you’ve got a following, you’re likely drowning in notifications – or you want to be.

But what happens when that starts feeling less like an outpouring of love and more like you’re actually drowning?

It might be time to turn to an app. We looked at some of the most popular ways to manage your Instagram DMs.

Read on to find out what we thought!

Why You’d Want to Send Instagram DMs

If an Instagram DM can land Nick and Joe Jonas two of the most beautiful and classy women alive, it can definitely help you out. But believe it or not, Instagram DMs can have more of a purpose than just thirsting after celebrities.

Thirst traps aside, here’s why they’re so important: DMs are a direct lifeline to your follower base. Don’t ignore them.

I’m not saying you need to respond to every creepy message a guy sends after a bikini picture, or spend hours crafting beautiful responses to “lol.” But put yourself in your followers’ shoes. When someone you look up to takes the time to engage with you, it makes you feel extremely special. That’s what an online community is looking for, so be the person who unites them!

Didn’t Instagram Have a DM Service?

Yes, it did. But if you’ve never heard of it, that’s probably because it was only initally rolled out in six countries, and apparently never made it to the rest of them.

And no, it doesn’t anymore. Or at least, it won’t.

In Instagram’s answer to Snapchat, Instagram direct was launched, and it apparently didn’t go well, because Facebook will shut down the app at the end of May 2019.

That leaves us back at square one. While Facebook’s grand plan to unify all their direct messaging options on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram in the future is ambitious, we have to focus on what can be done here and now.

Managing DMs Can Be Hard (And Instagram Doesn’t Make It Easy)

Without any apps, we’re left to wade through Instagram notifications on our own. You should be responding to as many DMs as possible.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that you need to be having personal correspondences with every single person who sends you an Instagram DM. Responding once or twice is enough to leave a person on read, or even just liking their message so they know you’ve seen it.

But sometimes it’s just too much to keep up with, and Instagram doesn’t make it easy, either. Although DMing on the app is fairly straightforward, the lack of accessibility on the website is a headscratcher. It’s almost like they don’t even want us to talk to each other.

But soldier on, brave Instagrammer. The void is shouting at you, and it demands to be heard. Thankfully, where Instagram has failed, other apps have stepped up to the plate. Here are the Instagram apps we tried:


Instagram’s desktop app has killed many a productive work day. Hours and hours can be wasted on the explore page or in the hashtag of your choice, and your boss is none the wiser. But the app has one giant flaw: It doesn’t allow DMs to be sent or received.

How can you fix that?

With, of course. It’s not realistic or healthy to constantly have our phones in our hands, if not straight up against the rules. But if you’re at the computer anyways, using a desktop app could change everything for you. IGDM. me runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. You’ll never have to worry about missing a story reply again.

Because keeping in touch with your follower base is so important, there’s no better way to make sure you’re on top of things with your audience. Just watch out for carpal tunnel.

Windows 10 Instagram App

Instagram, like many apps, favors the Apple empire. But Android has finally gotten Instagram, so why shouldn’t Windows have it, too?

For those of us that prefer PC to Mac, we’re used to things coming slower to us. Thankfully, Instagram DMs aren’t one of those things.

The Windows 10 Instagram app is actually fairly innovative. You can watch stories, explore, and if you have a device that switches to and from tablet mode, which many Windows computers do nowadays, you get all of the features that the iPhone App has. Most importantly, that includes DMs.

Even if you don’t have Instagram on your phone, Windows has your back when it comes to keeping up with Instagram DMs.

Android Emulator

This is, admittedly, a pretty complicated setup to go through for Instagram. But hey, I won’t mock you for your methods. If you have an Android device but want to keep up with your DMs from your desktop, consider using an Android emulator.

What an emulator does is basically project the interface of your Android for ease onto your desktop. You can then use all your desktop tools within your Android apps. However, emulators aren’t for the faint of heart: they often require multiple steps and basic knowledge of computer software.

Primarily used for gaming, it can be overwhelming to choose between all the Android emulators on the market. That’s why we’ve done the work for you. Some of the best Android emulators for productivity’s sake are Archon and Bliss. Remember what we said about being difficult to run, though? We weren’t kidding. Here’s a guide to installing them.

You might just be better off buying a Chromebook, but what works for you works for you.


If you’re on Mac, Flume offers a comprehensive Instagram experience that – hooray! – also includes direct messaging. It’s many features range from Insights to key searches, and it gives you a very comprehensive version of Instagram’s DM features. You can read, send, and start DMs with anybody from right within the app. If you work on a map, consider adding this cool app to your repertoire of Instagram tools.

Don’t Forget About Your DMs

It can be easy to push DMs to the side as unimportant thirst traps. But in reality, they’re a lot more than that. Instagram DMs are a way that your followers can engage with you directly, and that you can foster a real community with.

There are a lot of apps available to you to manage your DMs. Whether you use Flume on Mac or simply IGDM, the attention to your DMs will certainly be appreciated by your followers. No matter what setup or app you ultimately choose, put your heart into it, and your audience will respond in kind.

If you’re really lucky, you might even pull a Jonas and get a wife out of it.

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