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DM Meaning & Definition

A DM, or direct message, is a private messaging channel between two users on a social media platform. Ever since the advent of the internet, online communication through chatting has been a popular pastime. DM is the modern iteration of older chatting terms like IM (instant messaging) and PM (private messaging). On some DM platforms, you have the ability to add multiple users into a chat as well as messaging one-on-one.  

Popular social media platforms with DM capabilities include:

DM Safety

Since most social media platforms allow almost anyone to direct message you, is it important to exercise caution when replying to messages from strangers. Some social media platforms have settings to avoid getting messages from strangers in your inbox. For example, on Instagram, you can go into your privacy settings and only allow messages from users who follow you. This setting will make your DM inbox especially secure if your account is set to private, and you have already approved all your followers. Other social media platforms have similar settings, so it is important to check into the privacy settings as well as parental settings if you have a younger user and want to limit their interactions with strangers over DM.

There have also been accounts of people’s direct message history being hacked, especially in the case of celebrities and well-known, influential people. These messages often contain private or confidential information that can cause damage if the messages were to be released. Because most social media platforms do not implement end-to-end encryption, hackers are more easily able to gain access to a user’s messages. 

Alternate Definitions

  • Deathmatch- A type of gameplay mode found in first-person shooter games.
  • Dungeon Master- The game organizer and storyteller in Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Doctor of Medicine- A medical degree.
  • Deutsche Mark- The former currency of Germany.

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