Instagram lets you DM people i.e. direct message people. You can easily exchange private messages with users who follow you. You can even send message requests to users who don’t follow you. Additionally, you can use this same feature to send self-destructing photos on Instagram. The app basically has a built-in chat feature that works well if two users follow each other. It may surprise you therefor to learn that you can’t create a DM group on Instagram, at least not apparently. The Direct Messages screen doesn’t have an explicit group option but you can create a DM group on Instagram.
There are actually two ways to create a DM group on Instagram, one is more obvious than the other.
Create A DM Group – Direct Message Screen
Open Instagram and tap the paper plane icon at the top right. This will take you to the Direct Messages screen. There’s no ‘Create Group’ option here however, if you select multiple people from the list of users, Instagram will automatically create a DM group. This screen, on the surface of it, appears to let you send a message to multiple users separately but that isn’t the case.
Name the group and send a text or photo message.
Create A DM Group – Instagram Story
Instagram lets you create stories just like Snapchat. Snapchat lets you share snaps with everyone via your story, with individual friends, or with groups of friends. Instagram is a faithful clone of this.
Tap the camera button at the top left. Take a photo and tap the ‘Next’ button at the bottom right. This will take you to the send screen where you can pick who you want to send the photo to. At the top right of this screen is a ‘Create Group’ option. Tap it and create a DM group. This DM group will appear on the Direct Message screen.
Clearly, the the UI/UX needs a little attention. The way the group feature is implemented, unsuspecting users might think the groups are only for images they snap via the Stories screen. It looks suspiciously like Instagram just slapped on new features without thinking how they’d work together.
This isn’t the only difference between the Direct Message and send story screens. If you pick individual users from the send story screen, then it does indeed give you the option to share the image separately with the users. It’s the exact same thing the Direct Messages screen hints at but doesn’t actually do.