After more than a year of testing, Instagram has now expanded user access to Instagram Direct messages via the web version of the app, enabling users to interact with their Instagram DMs via desktop.
Instagram first started testing desktop access to Direct in February last year, then began rolling it out to selected users in January - though it noted at that time that it was still, very much, in test mode.
Now, more users are able to access the option. To check if you have it, head to www.instagram.com and log in to your Instagram account.
The addition will make Instagram's messaging tools more widely accessible, as not all users are able to access the platform via the app. People in regions where network access is limited, or where data plans are restrictive, could benefit from being able to connect to their DMs on an alternate platform - while it also aligns with Facebook's broader plan to integrate all of its messaging tools. You can already access both WhatsApp and Messenger via desktop, so it makes sense that Instagram Direct also be brought into line in this respect.
It'll also have benefits for social media managers - now, you'll be able to conduct all of your Instagram activities via desktop, including posting (through Creator Studio) and managing DMs. I mean, you probably still want to create Stories via the mobile app (though there are workarounds for that too), and DMs have technically been available via your connected Facebook Page inbox for some time. But it could make your day-to-day Instagram management requirements a little easier, with a dedicated inbox and tools aligned specifically to IG.
Again, it's not available for everyone, but it seems that *most* users can now access their DMs vis the desktop app.
UPDATE (9/10): Instagram has now confirmed that all users can access DMs via the desktop app.