DM stands for “Direct Message”. A DM is a private message between two people, usually on a website or social media app. While originally referring to private messages sent on Twitter, “DMs” now refer to private conversations on almost every social media platform.
Have you ever heard the term “DM” during a conversation on social media, in a text message, or on discussion boards and wonder what DM stands for or what it means? Here is everything you need to know.
So what is a DM? When referring to digital communication or social media sites, DM stands for “Direct Message.” A direct message is a private communication, usually between just two people. In that way, they are differentiated from other means of communication on a social network, such as comments, status updates, or group chats.
You may see the term used during a public conversation on Facebook or another public website when more privacy is needed, such as “send me a DM.” It can also be used to tell people that you are accepting private messages, for example, “My DMs are open.”
Another well known example is “slipping into my DMs”. This usually refers to an unsolicited private message with romantic or sexual overtones. Most of the time, the person who “swipes in DMs” is a stranger to the recipient.
Today, the term DM is used to describe private messages on most social media platforms, from Instagram to TikTok, no matter what the site calls them. Some have tried to rename private messages, including Twitch. Officially, private messages on Twitch are called Whispers, though they’re still called DMs by content creators and streaming audiences.
The history of the DM
The use of the term DM in place of older terms like IM (instant message) or PM (private message) increased in popularity thanks to Twitter.
The official name for private messages on Twitter was and still is direct messages. Twitter users quickly began shortening “Direct Message” to “DM” to avoid running into Twitter’s character limit for tweets. On Facebook, DMs were more commonly called messages or chats before the use of DMs spread across the internet.
The first definition of DM in regards to messaging was added to the modern slang bible, Urban Dictionary, in 2008. Twitter only launched in 2006, so it didn’t take long for the term to permeate the vocabulary. of users of social networks.
RELATED: How to use “Secret Conversations” on Facebook Messenger
Direct messages before Twitter
There are some alternative uses for DMs that have been around much longer than Twitter or direct messages. Most are quite specific and do not refer to messaging or communication. Some of the more well-known uses include:
- dungeon masters: In games like Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D), DM can represent Dungeon Master, the organizer of the game.
- dr martens: Boots made by the famous shoe brand are also commonly known as DMs, as in “Check out my new oxblood red DMs.”
There are a few other possible meanings for the term DM, but none have achieved the same widespread use that it has for direct messaging. If you hear DM being used in a conversation related to something online, digital, or social, that means private messaging.
Examples of using DM in text
As with most internet slang, there aren’t really any formal rules for how DM should be used. It can be used alone or pluralized by adding an “s”, for example, DM. It can even be used in the past tense by adding “ed” or “‘d”.
Here are some examples of how you can use DM in real life text messages and conversations:
- “Send me a DM later”
- “This creepy guy slipped into my DMs last night”
- “DMs are open, let me know what you think”
- “Bike for sale, DM for details”
- “She sent me a DM about it yesterday”
Now that you know what DM means and how you can use it, why not learn the meaning of common terms people use in their DMs, like FS, IK, and BC?