How to Reply to a Specific Instagram Message – The Ultimate Guide

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Hey there! Have you ever felt frustrated trying to have a conversation on Instagram because messages get chaotic and confusing? I‘ve totally been there too.

Luckily, Instagram now lets you reply to specific messages to keep conversations clear and organized. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through how to reply to Instagram DMs on both iPhone and Android.

By the end, you‘ll be a pro at responding directly to messages for better conversations. Let‘s get started!

What Exactly is Replying to Messages on Instagram?

When you reply to a specific Instagram message, the message you‘re responding to gets quoted above the text box. This lets you directly answer any message in a DM chat without things getting messy.

So if your friend sends:

Friend: Hey! Are we still on for dinner tonight at 7?

You can tap reply on just that message and respond:

You: Yeah absolutely! Can‘t wait to try that new Italian place. See you at 7!

It keeps your response connected to their original question. Your friend will see your reply neatly tied to what you‘re answering.

This makes conversations way more clear. No more giant blocks of texts with zero organization! 😅 Replying mimics real conversations and avoids confusion.

Why You Should Be Replying to Messages

Here are some stellar reasons to start replying to specific messages instead of just sending texts:

  • Keeps chats organized – With replies connected to each message, you can follow conversations easily. No more losing track of who said what!

  • Provides context – Quoting the original message gives your response the context it needs.

  • Easier to follow – Jumping from topic to topic gets old. Replying means you stick to conversations.

  • Avoids miscommunication – Responding directly reduces confusion and mistakes. No more mismatched messages!

  • It‘s more fun! – Having clearer chats makes messaging more enjoyable. You‘ll look forward to DMing your friends!

Plus, replying works brilliantly across iPhones, Androids, tablets and more. It brings Instagram up to speed with other top messaging apps.

Step 1: Check You Can Reply to Messages

Before you can start replying to DMs, you need to make sure:

  • Your Instagram app is fully updated to the latest version. Older versions likely don‘t have reply capabilities.

  • Your account is allowed to message. Business profiles sometimes need messaging enabled.

  • Replying is available in your country. Sadly it‘s not out worldwide yet.

You can also head into Settings > Update Messaging and tap update to get the latest messaging experience. If you don‘t see the update option, you‘re good to go!

Now let‘s get into the steps to reply on both iPhones and Androids. I‘ll include images too so you know exactly where to tap.

How to Reply to Instagram Messages on iPhone

Revolutionize your conversations by replying to messages on your iPhone or iPad. Just follow these steps:

1. Open Your Instagram Profile

Launch Instagram and tap on your profile pic in the bottom right:

[Image of tapping Instagram profile]

This opens up your profile page.

2. Tap the Menu Icon

Now tap on the 3-line menu button at the top:

[Image of tapping menu icon]

This opens your menu.

3. Select Settings

In your menu, find and tap on Settings:

[Image of tapping Settings in menu]

This will open your settings.

4. Choose ‘Update Messaging‘

Scroll to the top and select Update Messaging:

[Image of Update Messaging in settings]

Tap update if you need the latest messaging capabilities.

5. Tap and Hold a Message

Go back to your messages and tap & hold on a text reply to:

[Image of tap and hold a message]

Keep holding until the menu pops up.

6. Tap ‘Reply‘

In the menu, tap Reply to respond to that message:

[Image of tapping Reply]

You‘ll now see the message quoted above the text box.

7. Type and Send Your Response

With the message quoted, type your reply below it:

[Image of typing a reply]

Once done, hit send and the person will see you replied!

And that‘s it. Follow those steps to keep your chats organized and easy to follow. Now let‘s look at doing this on Androids.

Replying to Messages on Android

The process is very similar on Android devices like Samsung, Google Pixel, OnePlus and more:

1. Open Your Profile

Launch Instagram and tap your profile picture:

[Image of Android profile]

This will take you to your profile.

2. Tap the Menu Icon

Tap the 3 line menu button in the top right corner:

[Image of Android menu button]

Your menu will open up.

3. Choose Settings

Select Settings from the menu options:

[Image of Settings in Android menu]

This will open your settings.

4. Tap ‘Update Messaging‘

Tap the Update Messaging option at the top:

[Image of Update Messaging on Android]

Update if you need the latest messaging.

5. Tap and Hold a Message

Go back to your DMs and tap & hold a message:

[Image of tap and holding an Android message]

Keep holding until the menu pops up.

6. Choose Reply

Tap on Reply in the menu:

[Image of tapping Reply in Android]

This will quote the message.

7. Type and Send Your Response

With the message quoted, type your reply below:

[Image of replying in Android]

Hit send and you‘ve replied!

And that‘s all there is to it! Now you can reply directly to messages on Android too.

Pro Tip: Swipe to Reply

A quick pro tip – on both iOS and Android you can also swipe left on a message and tap Reply instead of holding:

[Image of swiping to reply]

This makes things even faster! But either way works perfectly.

Troubleshooting Guide

If you‘re having issues getting the reply feature to work, here are some fixes:

  • Update Instagram: Make 100% sure the app is updated to the latest version.

  • Update Messaging: Head to Settings > Update Messaging and tap update.

  • Meet Requirements: Your account and country need to meet messaging requirements.

  • Tap & Hold: Hold the message for 1-2 seconds before tapping Reply.

  • Reinstall Instagram: Uninstall and reinstall the app if needed.

  • Log Out: Try logging out and back into your Instagram account.

  • Contact Support: Reach out to the Instagram support team for help.

With one of those troubleshooting tips, you should be replying to messages in no time!

Fun Stats About Instagram Messaging

Now that you know how to reply to messages, here are some fun facts about messaging on Instagram:

  • Over 1 billion people use Instagram messaging every month.

  • The average user spends over 30 minutes per day messaging on Instagram

  • There are over 5 billion Instagram messages sent every day!

  • 67% of Instagram users prefer messaging businesses on Instagram over other platforms.

  • Instagram users under 25 spend an average of 32 minutes per day on Instagram messaging alone.

  • The majority of people (54%) use Instagram messaging to have personal conversations with friends.

(Sources: Instagram, Sprout Social, Social Media Today)

With messaging being so popular on Instagram, being able to reply directly to messages is more important than ever!

Key Benefits of Replying to Messages

Let‘s recap the biggest benefits of taking the time to reply specifically to Instagram messages:

Increased Clarity

Replying to each message avoids confusion and miscommunication. Both people know exactly which text they‘re responding to.

Improved Organization

Keeping responses tied to each message makes conversations way more orderly and coherent.

Reduced Misunderstandings

With quoted messages providing context, there‘s less room for mistakes and misunderstandings.

Enhanced Engagement

Replying makes conversations fun instead of frustrating! People will be more excited to message you.

Stronger Relationships

Meaningful messaging leads to deeper connections and relationships with your Instagram contacts.

My Final Tips for Replying to Messages

Here are a few final pro tips as you get going with replying to messages:

  • Use emoji reactions to quickly show you‘ve seen a message before replying with words.

  • Enable Instagram message requests so you can reply to new people too!

  • Keep your replies relevant to the quoted message to stay on topic.

  • Let conversations flow naturally – no need to reply to every single text.

  • Turn on Instagram notifications so you see messages right away.

  • Use voice messages to add an audio reply for a change.

  • Don‘t forget you can message from desktop too and keep replies going across devices!


Phew, we covered a lot! Here are the key takeaways:

  • Replying quotes the message you‘re responding to for clarity.

  • It prevents conversations from getting messy and confusing.

  • Make sure to update messaging and meet requirements first.

  • Tap and hold a message, then tap Reply to respond on either iPhone or Android.

  • Troubleshooting tips can help get replying working smoothly.

I hope this guide gave you a complete understanding of how to reply to specific messages on Instagram. Now you can take your conversations to the next level!

Let me know if you have any other questions. And happy replying my friend!

[Your name]

Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.