It's finally here, people. On Friday, Instagram officially announced that users can send direct messages through their desktop browsers. The company quietly began testing the browser feature in January in a markedly different approach than its fiercely mobile-first business philosophy.
How does it work? — Now, at the top right of your page where the little arrow sits, desktop users will see a new option to send direct messages. You can "heart" messages just like you did on the mobile app by double-tapping the text and send emojis, photos, and group texts. Here's what it looks like.
Cross-platform messaging — Instagram posts, too, can be sent in direct messages through your browser. Just click a post, tap the arrow at the bottom of the image, and select whichever option works best for you. There's an option for sharing it on Facebook, Messenger, direct messages, email, and more. Here's how that looks on desktop.
Better late than never — If your mobile app has a messaging feature, it's only logical to eventually bring that option to desktop browsers. It's a source of ease for users and a smart strategy for keeping people hooked to your product, be it on their smartphones or laptops.
If you've been keeping an eye on Instagram, you'll notice that the company has been trying to open up the platform with new features, including cross-platform music sharing, getting tougher on pages that use privacy to boost follower counts, video post-browsing in real-time with friends, tackling COVID-19 misinformation, and more. This is only the latest push in that direction.
With this new option, the company is probably vying for the attention and loyalty of business owners and brand managers who, unlike the average Instagram addict, spend most of their time on their desktops.