www.alliancecom.net 13 allow you to send DMs to more than one person at a time. When using DMs, remember that, though they are private between you and another person or people, they can still be copied and shared and may not be entirely secure. Use DMs with discretion and consider another method to communicate if your information is confidential. History of DMs DMs are a form of instant messaging, which started in the late 1990s with platforms like ICQ, AIM, and MSN. In the 2000s, this functionality shifted to mobile phones, making it possible to share messages and photos. Skype and Google Talk came along around this time. In 2006, MySpace launched the first instant messaging function within a social media platform. In 2008, Facebook Messenger, then known as Facebook Chat, was released. In 2013, both Twitter and Instagram rolled out their DM features. In 2014, Facebook Messenger became a separate platform, followed by similar applications such as Whatsapp, WeChat, and Snapchat. DMDos and Don’ts DMs are a private space, so be courteous when approaching anyone you don’t know well. • Do connect for genuine reasons, such as appreciating something they’ve posted on the platform. • Do use DMs for making plans or anything else all your connections don’t need to see. • Do keep DMs short and to the point. • Don’t use DMs to harass others. • Don’t try to sell things or make demands. • Don’t send multiple messages. If someone doesn’t respond, it’s likely they don’t want to engage. In other words, be nice and treat fellow social media users with respect. QUICK TIP: If you can’t DM someone on Twitter, get their attention by using their handle at the beginning of a tweet. Contacting Celebrities Using a DM Social media has leveled the playing field in terms of celebrity accessibility. They’re as likely to respond to mentions or DMs as anyone else. Right? Well, not exactly. Given the number of these messages they receive, it’s not always possible for them (or their assistants) to respond. But there are some ways you can make it more probable that a celebrity will notice your DM: • DM for a reason other than, “I’m a huge fan.” Arouse their curiosity with valuable information or something you can offer them. • Get to the point quickly. Don’t waste valuable DM space with disclaimers like, “I hope I’m not wasting your time.” • It’s okay to DM the celebrity regularly, but don’t go overboard. Remember, celebrities have a lot of demands on their time and attention. You might use these tips, yet still not get a reply. But the thrill of hearing from someone you admire is often worth the effort.