This restriction was introduced to protect minors who are TikTok’s largest group of users. Up until 2020, TikTok users of all ages can send messages to others, but the platform has put a ban on users under 16 to use the DM feature. Upon signing up, you will be asked to provide your birthdate, which will determine if you will be able to use DM on TikTok.
We’ve provided a simple, step-by-step guide on how you can send a DM to other TikTok users. But before that, let’s differentiate the two main ways on how you can message another user.
How to Message People on TikTok
If you want to message someone on TikTok, you can do so via desktop and on their app. But the app is much more efficient to use than the desktop version, so you’ll probably want to use the app. Here’s how you can use the DM feature on the app.
Open the TikTok app. Once you’ve logged in, tap the Inbox icon on the bottom part of the screen.
Once you’ve done that, you will see your list of friends. On TikTok, your friends are the people you followed and who also followed you back. Tap the direct message icon (aeroplane icon) on the top-right corner of the app.
Select the person you want to talk to. You can now send them a DM.
If you want to send a message to a TikTok user but can’t find them on the list, you can opt to go to their profile instead and send them a message there.
Go to the TikTok profile of the user you want to send a message to. If you’re not following this person, you will see that there’s a Follow button below their profile picture.
Note: You can’t send a DM to a user you aren’t friends with. You need to follow them first and have them follow you before you can send messages to each other.
Click the three dots icon to send a message. If the person isn’t following you, you aren’t friends on TikTok and you will see a message like this:
But if you are, you will be able to send a message to them.
Once you’re friends with this person, go to the user’s profile. If you can see the Message button on the user’s profile age, you can now send them a DM.
If you want to send a DM to another user using your desktop instead of the app, you can now do that, too. Just go to TikTok and click on the aeroplane icon again.
Select the person you want to send a direct message to and after hitting send, you’re done!
Just a quick note, though: Direct Messaging via desktop doesn’t support some features, including GIFs. You will get a message saying that the type of message isn’t supported, and you have to download the TikTok app on your phone instead.
Same with the app version, you can only send direct messages to people who are also following you.
More TikTok Direct Messaging Tips
It’s also possible to send videos directly as private messages to other people. Just go to the video you want to send as a DM and click Share, whether it’s yours or someone else’s video. The app will prompt you to select the person (or people) you want to send the video to. Yes, you can send it to multiple people.
On that note, you can also create a group chat, just like on other social media platforms.
How to Create a Group Chat
Open the TikTok app.
Tap Inbox and go to the aeroplane icon on the top right corner of the screen.
Once you’re on the “Direct messages” page, tap the overlapping speech bubble icon, also located on the top right corner of the app.
Select the people you want to create a group chat with and you can now send direct messages to these people all at once.
You can also change the name of the chat settings by going to the group chat you’ve created and tapping the three dots icon on the top right corner of the page. Here, you can change the name of the group, mute notifications, and a lot more. You can also leave or end the group chat if you want.
Best TikTok Message Settings
TikTok lets its users modify their privacy settings if they want. They can opt to receive messages from their Friends or No One at all. Just follow these steps to customize your direct messaging preferences.
Go to the TikTop app.
Tap “Profile” at the bottom menu of the screen.
On your profile page, tap the three horizontal lines on the top right corner of the screen, and then select “Privacy”.
Scroll down to find Direct messages with the aeroplane icon. Select it.
You can choose who can send you direct messages and who can invite you to group chats. Because you can’t message people who aren’t your friends anymore, you won’t be able to receive messages from people other than your friends either.
On the “Privacy” section of the settings, you can also choose to make your account private. If your account is public, anyone can follow you. If your profile page is private, however, you have to approve someone on TikTok before they can follow you.
Direct messaging is different across various social media platforms. For example, on Instagram, you can send and receive messages from anyone, even if you’re not following them. In the case of TikTok, however, you need to be friends with the user before you can send a DM.
Limitations on TikTok DMs
Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok does have limitations if you want to send a direct message to others. We’ve already mentioned that the direct messaging feature isn’t available to users under 16. Another limitation is that you can’t send messages to just anyone you want.
TikTok users have the option to restrict the message they can receive. They can either opt to receive messages from everyone, friends, or no one. If you weren’t able to send a message to a particular person but your DM works on others just fine, that is probably the reason.
TikTok also requires a valid phone number and email upon registration. If you don’t have it, you can still sign up for the platform but you won’t be able to send DMs. There are places online where you can get a temporary email or phone number. But be careful of using those. You might not be able to retrieve your account in case.
TikTok Comments vs Direct Messaging
Generally, there are two methods on how you can send messages to other users on TikTok: one, is by posting a comment on their video content, and two is by sending a direct message to them. The main difference between posting comments and sending direct messages is that comments will be posted publicly. This means other users who are viewing that content will also be able to see your message. You wouldn’t want to post personal stuff in the comment section, would you?
Direct messaging is a great way to send messages to a particular TikTok user more privately. Only you and the user you’ve sent your message to will be able to read the content.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Send a TikTok Message to All your Followers?
TikTok only allows its users to message their friends, so if a person is following you but you are not following this person back, you can’t send them a message. Also, the best you can do is to send direct messages to multiple people is by creating a group chat, but that might take a lot of work if you have lots of friends.
Can You DM Someone on TikTok Without Being Friends?
As of the moment, TikTok only allows friends to message each other. You can’t send a DM to someone on TikTok without being friends.