Instagram update: DMs coming to desktop in major change to how messages work

Andrew Griffin
AFP/Getty Images

Instagram will finally let users chat on the desktop.

The company is bringing direct messages to the web, allowing people to talk on their computer rather than just on their phone.

It marks a major change for the Facebook-owned app, which has traditionally avoided bringing functionality to the desktop at all.

The new feature is in public testing now, and has been confirmed by Instagram. As such, not all users will have access to it, but it is very likely that it will arrive in full very soon.

The DM feature will work largely the same as it does on the phone, letting friends open up a new conversation, share posts and like messages.

It will also allow people to get notifications on their computer, using the systems that allows browsers to alert their users to news.

Instagram has suggested that there may be changes or additions to how the features works as it is tested.

Historically, Instagram has always been resistant to the idea of using the desktop at all. It does not provide an app for PCs or Mac, and the web version of the social network is lacking in a wide range of features that are available in the app.

But in recent weeks it has been reported that its website will be replaced with a web app on desktop, which will give some of that functionality to users on their computer.

It also comes as its parent company Facebook makes a wide variety of changes to how direct messages work across its various apps. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said that it is working towards bringing all the various messaging tools together, so that people will be able to talk between DMs in Instagram, WhatsApp and the main Facebook Messenger.

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