Sending Gift Messages on Instagram: A Step-by-Step Guide

What Are Instagram Gift Messages?

Instagram gift messages are animated graphics or GIFs that you can send in your direct message (DM) conversations to add some fun and personality. These short animations depict things like hearts, flowers, birthday cakes, champagne bottles and more.

The purpose of Instagram’s gift messages is to allow users to enhance their conversations and express emotions in a more engaging, visual way. Rather than just sending a regular text like “Happy Birthday!” you can send an animated birthday cake graphic that unfolds right in the chat. It makes your messages more dynamic and celebratory.

Gift messages work by allowing you to search for and select animated stickers or GIFs from Instagram’s library. You can personalize them further by adding text captions. When you send a gift message, it appears for the recipient as a wrapped present graphic. When they tap to “unwrap” it, the gift message animation plays out within the conversation.

Overall, gift messages bring a bit of flair and whimsy to your Instagram DM chats. They make conversations more expressive, celebratory and fun. Whether reacting to something, commemorating an event or holiday, or just wanting to delight your friend, gift messages allow you to visually enhance your Instagram messaging experience.

How To Send Gift Message On Instagram

To find and send animated gift messages on Instagram, you’ll first need to open up a direct message conversation. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open the Instagram app and tap on the paper airplane icon in the top right to access your DMs.
  2. Select the conversation you want to send a gift message in. You can open an existing chat or start a new one.
  3. Once in the DM conversation, tap on the smiley face icon next to the message text box. This will open up Instagram’s sticker and GIF menu.
  4. In the menu, select the “Gift” option typically found near the top. This will load all the available animated gift message graphics.
  5. Browse through the gift message options by scrolling left and right. You’ll see different categories like celebrations, love, and more.
  6. Tap on the gift animation you want to send. This will add it to the message composer.
  7. Optionally, you can type out a message to go along with the gift animation before sending.
  8. When ready, tap the send arrow button to fire off your animated gift message!

The recipient will then see your fun gift animation play out right in the conversation. It’s a great way to add some flare and visual excitement to your Instagram DMs.

Sending Your First Instagram Gift Message

  • To send your first Instagram gift message animation, start by opening the Instagram app and tapping the paper airplane icon in the top right to open your Direct Messages. Select the conversation you want to send the gift message in.
  • Next, tap on the smiley face icon next to the message text box to open the sticker menu. Select the “GIF” option to browse the available animated stickers and gift messages.
  • Use the search bar at the top to find a specific animation you want, like “heart” or “birthday cake.” You can also browse the different categories of animations like “Celebratory,” “Love,” and more.
  • Once you’ve found an animation you like, simply tap on it to add it to your message. You can resize and rotate the animation by pinching and dragging.
  • To personalize your gift message further, tap the “Aa” text icon and type out a message that will appear along with the animation when you send it.
  • When you’re ready, tap the blue send arrow icon in the top right corner. Your gift message animation will unfold and animate right in the conversation view for your recipient to enjoy!

It’s a fun and easy way to add some extra flair, celebration, or emotion to your Instagram DMs. The animations play automatically as a loop, making them eye-catching within the chat.

Types of Gift Message Animations

Instagram’s gift messaging feature offers a wide variety of fun, animated graphics to choose from. The available animations span several different styles and themes to fit any mood or occasion.

Celebratory Animations

A popular category is celebratory animations perfect for sending well-wishes. Options include birthday cakes with colorful candles, bottles of champagne popping corks, and festive party poppers exploding with confetti.

Romantic Animations

For flirty conversations or telling that special someone how you feel, romantic animations make a cute gesture. Choices range from classic floating hearts and roses to more playful animations like a pair of animated lips blowing a kiss.

Holiday/Seasonal Animations

No matter the time of year, you’ll find themed gift animations fitting for the current holiday or season. In the winter there are snowflakes and Christmas trees, in the fall you can send falling leaves, and the spring/summer brings flowers blooming and sun icons.

Animal Animations

Add some adorable flair with the animal-themed gift animations. Send your friends cuddly puppies, kittens, baby chicks and more. These cute critters are sure to brighten anyone’s day.

Emoji Animations

For when simple emoji just won’t cut it, amplified animated emoji like the kissing face, heart eyes, loudly crying face and more allow you to express yourself bigger and bolder.

Who Can You Send Gift Messages To?

Instagram’s gift message feature allows you to send animated graphics to anyone in your existing direct message conversations. However, there is one key limitation – you cannot send gift messages to group chats on Instagram.

The gift animations can only be shared in one-on-one DM conversations with individual contacts you have an existing chat with. If you try to access the gift message option in a group chat, you won’t see the search icon to browse animations.

This restriction makes sense from Instagram’s perspective, as group conversations can get chaotic quickly if every member starts sending animated gifts back and forth. It helps keep the group chat focused on text-based messaging.

So while you can get creative sending fun gift messages to your friends, co-workers, family members and other individual DM contacts, you’ll have to stick to regular text in any Instagram group chats you are a part of. The animated gift graphics are meant for those more personal, one-on-one conversations on the platform.

Limits and Availability

Instagram’s gift message feature is completely free to use, so you can send as many animated messages as you’d like without worrying about any costs. The feature is available on both iOS and Android devices, ensuring everyone can get in on the fun of sprucing up their DM conversations.

While there are no specific limits on how many gift messages you can send overall, there is a daily limit on how many you can send to a single person or group chat. This limit helps prevent spam and abuse of the feature. If you try sending too many gift messages to one recipient in a short period, you’ll see a notification that you’ve reached your daily limit for that conversation.

It’s also worth noting that gift messages can only be sent in individual DM conversations, not in Instagram group chats. So if you want to share some celebratory animations with multiple friends, you’ll have to send them individually rather than to the whole group.

Creative Gift Message Ideas

Instagram’s gift message feature opens up fun new ways to add personality and flair to your DM conversations. While sending a simple text message gets the point across, an animated gift graphic can make your message pop off the screen. Here are some creative ways to utilize gift messages:

Holiday Celebrations

Wish friends and family a happy holiday with a themed animation like a birthday cake for their big day, red hearts for Valentine’s Day, a turkey for Thanksgiving, or a wrapped gift for Christmas. These festive graphics make it feel like you’re handing them a real-life present.

Birthday Shout-Outs

Speaking of birthdays, you can make the celebrant feel extra special by sending an eye-catching birthday cake or balloon animation along with your well wishes. The moving graphic adds an exciting element to your happy birthday message.

Congratulatory Messages

Did a friend accomplish a major goal like graduating, getting married, or landing a new job? An animated champagne bottle bursting with bubbles or a bouquet of flowers helps elevate a simple “congratulations!” text.

Reactions and Responses

In the middle of a conversation, you can use gift messages to react to what the other person said in a fun, visual way. If they share happy news, send smiling hearts or clapping hands. If they vent about something frustrating, a sad cloud or wilted rose could show your sympathy.

Just Because

You don’t need a special occasion to brighten someone’s day with an Instagram gift message. Send an animation like sunflowers, cupcakes or a rainbow just because to spread some cheer and put a smile on their face.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble accessing or sending Instagram gift messages, don’t worry – there are a few common issues that can usually be resolved easily.

Can’t Find the Gift Message Icon

The gift icon should appear next to the text input field when you open a direct message thread. If it’s missing, first make sure you have the latest version of Instagram installed. If that doesn’t fix it, try logging out and back into your account. You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling the Instagram app.

Gift Messages Not Working or Sending

Sometimes there can be a temporary glitch that prevents gift messages from going through properly. If your gift animation doesn’t send, close Instagram completely and reopen it. You can also toggle your internet connection off and back on. If it still doesn’t work, the issue may be on Instagram’s end – try again in a little while.

Gift Message Animations Not Loading

When searching for gift animations, they may sometimes fail to load and display properly. This is usually just a temporary hiccup. Close and reopen Instagram, or switch between WiFi and cellular data to trigger a refresh. You can also restart your device as a last resort.

Gift Message Keeps Crashing Instagram

A corrupted app cache can sometimes cause Instagram to crash when using certain features like gift messages. Clear the app’s cache by going to Settings > Apps > Instagram > Storage > Clear Cache. If that doesn’t work, uninstall and reinstall the Instagram app.

The Verdict on Gift Messages

Instagram’s gift message feature is a fun and creative way to add some personality and flair to your direct message conversations. While not a groundbreaking feature, it can help liven up your chats and inject some celebratory animations for special occasions like birthdays, holidays, and other milestones.

The selection of gift animations covers a decent range of themes and styles, from classic hearts and flowers to festive animations for events like New Year’s Eve. Being able to personalize them with text is also a nice touch.

Ultimately, gift messages won’t revolutionize how you use Instagram DMs, but they provide a simple way to make your conversations a bit more dynamic and visually engaging. For casual chatters who want to punch up their messaging game, gift messages are an easy and free way to accomplish that goal. While power users may not get much mileage out of the feature, casual Instagram fans can have some creative fun with these animated surprises.

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