How to DM Someone in TikTok

The rise of TikTok is a sight to behold. Even if you’re not particularly social media savvy, you’ve probably heard some chatter about this new thing that’s got all the kids obsessed.

The number of TikTok downloads went through the roof in 2020, even after its biggest market, India, issued a TikTok ban for a while. It obviously will not be stopped.

As you learn TikTok, there are multiple features available. Sure, you can post a video, share someone else’s video, create a duet video with your favorite creator, and more. But, one of the more simple expectations of social media platforms lies in your ability to communicate with others.

If you’re wondering how your can message another TikTok user, this article will tell you how as well as teach some other neat tricks TikTok has to offer.

What Do You Use TikTok for?

We already mentioned that TikTok merges two wonderful things, music and how it affects us, particularly young people. TikTok is perhaps most well-known for its lip-syncing feature.

For 15 seconds, you can make short video clips of a song with you lip-syncing to it as if you’re the singer. You can be as creative as you like, dancing, recreating famous concerts, and playing solo on the air guitar.

You can also turn yourself into a superstar comedian by creating funny sketches, and who knows, maybe you’ll go viral someday and get hired on SNL.

Direct Messaging

Social media apps are not the novelty they once were. Facebook has been around for over a decade, and even though that doesn’t sound like a long time, who even remembers the time without Facebook? The same goes for Instagram and Twitter. Once you’ve explored the features of one, using the next one comes a lot more easily. And one of the things they all have in common is the ability to send direct messages, or DMs for short.

Direct messaging is a private form of communication between two users. The “direct” part implies that it’s not available for others to see, as opposed to comments, for example. When it comes to direct messaging on social media, you can decide if it’s for you. Some people prefer not to disable it completely – you can always ignore whomever, right?

TikTok, just like all others, has this option. So, if you want to know how to send someone a DM on TikTok, this is how you do it:

On TikTok, it’s important to remember that the only way to DM with someone is if you’re both following each other. It doesn’t matter if your profile is set to public or private.

messages cannot be sent

There are two ways you can send a DM on TikTok. Let’s review both.

Send a DM Using the Inbox Icon

When you open the TikTok app, you’ll see an inbox icon at the bottom. Press it and that will lead you to the activity page.

At the top right corner, you’ll see the icon for direct messages. Press it and you’ll see a list of people you’re following.

direct messages

Tap on a person and you’ll be promptly directed to compose your message.

Send a DM Through a Users’ Profile

Another way to send a DM to one of your followers:

  1. Go directly to their profile page
  2. At the top right corner, click on the three dots
  3. A panel will pop up. Select the option to “send message”.
    send message

How to Opt-Out of DMs

If you want to stop receiving direct messages from someone, all you have to do is remove them from your followers or stop following them. And if you want to turn off your direct messages, just:

  1. Go to your profile page
  2. Click on the three dots in the top right corner
  3. Select “Privacy and safety”
    privacy and safety
  4. Select “Who can send you messages”.
    who can send you messages
  5. Choose “Off”

Why Can’t I Send a DM?

There are several complaints from users on TikTok who were unable to send DMs for one reason or another. Unlike Facebook and Instagram where you can send a message to a person who isn’t your friend (but it goes to a ‘Message Requests’ inbox), TikTok doesn’t always let you send messages.

The first thing to note about TikTok DMs is that in order to send them you must be friends with your recipient and you must register your phone number in the app. The idea behind this seemingly odd policy is that it cuts down on spam.

The second thing to note is that TikTok banned messages for users under 16 years of age (although this may vary by region). To protect younger users and avoid potential lawsuits the company took action to prevent issues regarding minors.

So, if you get an error message ensure that you’ve used your phone number when setting up the app. You can, of course, get a temporary phone number, but you may have trouble accessing your TikTok account later on.

Next, check your internet connection. A weak internet connection can cause issues sending messages on TikTok. If you’re on wifi try switching to cellular data.

Also, with TikTok’s anti-spam features, make sure you haven’t sent too many messages to too many people in a short time-span. While messaging limitations have never been confirmed, you can’t follow too many people at a time without getting an error. So, based on that we’d assume some users are sending too many random DMs in a short time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I stop just one person from messaging me?

As mentioned earlier, you can completely turn off the DM feature. But, that doesn’t narrow it down to one or two nuisance users, turning this feature off means no one can message you. It’s natural to wonder if you can stop only one or two users from sending you DMs.

The only way to do this is to block that person’s account completely. We have an entire article on that here for you.

Can I DM someone on TikTok without a phone number?

Unfortunately, no. TikTok does require a phone number to access all of the apps’ features. But, you can use a Google Number or other temporary phone number resource to enable the feature.

Just keep in mind, using this option may lead to difficulty logging in and recovering your account later on.

In Closing, TikTok Community Guidelines

TikTok’s astronomical success of late, however fascinating, comes with some concerns. Since the majority of the app’s users are very young people, mostly underaged children, the company has extensive community guidelines. This includes direct messaging. Apart from not being able to DM anyone who isn’t following you, you can also block a user from sending an inappropriate message.

To do that, go to that conversation and click on the three dots and then choose “Report” or “Block”. This will send the message in question to moderators for review, in addition to preventing the person from seeing your profile and contacting you in any way.

Let us know what you think about direct messaging in the comments below.

One thought on “How to DM Someone in TikTok”

Avatar Kim says:
I followed every instruction to DM ppl I’m friends with and every time I get “add a phone number”. I press “connect” – put in my phone number. & get “this number is already registered”.
Obvi I had to use my number to set up my acct & I dont have another # to use … Please help

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