featured image: how to message someone on TikTok

How to Message Someone on TikTok

Learning how to message someone on TikTok is an important part of using the app. As TikTok continues to gain popularity, knowing how to use every feature is crucial. Whether you’re a business turning to TikTok for marketing, or you’re using the platform for fun, you want to be able to DM.

Currently, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media sites in existence. Downloaded more than 2 billion times, TikTok is now the 7th most-used social media platform. It’s also the platform most likely to appeal to a younger audience. With TikTok, creators can publish all kinds of engaging video content. You can engage with people via duets or share someone’s video. Of course, the easiest way to connect with another TikTok user, is messaging.

Let’s explore everything you need to know about TikTok messaging.

Navigating the TikTok Interface

In a lot of ways, the TikTok app is similar to other social media platforms. There’s a profile page, an environment where you can explore new content, and a direct messaging feature. Like other social media platforms, you’ll need to learn the interface to find all the features.

When you install TikTok, you’ll be able to create an account using your email address and phone number. TikTok also allows users to login using other social media accounts.

TikTok log in page

The first place you should visit after building your account is your profile. You can find your profile by clicking on your picture after tapping the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner.

TikTok profile page

This is where you can add your TikTok bio, link to other social media profiles, and upload your TikTok videos. You can also use your profile page to see any TikTok user you’re following. Once you’ve added your profile picture and set your username, you’ll visit the “For You” page by tapping on the house-shaped icon.

TikTok sections

The “For You” page is essentially your homepage on TikTok. This is where TikTok provides a feed of popular videos for you to see. As the app learns more about your browsing preferences, it tunes your For You page to what you like most. To the right of every video, you see a heart icon. The heart functions similarly to the “like” button on Facebook or Instagram.

You can also tap the speech bubble on each video to leave comments. Comments are an easy way to send messages to users when you don’t have the right relationship to send direct messages. Each video also has a “share” option. This allows you to share videos from the TikTok app across multiple platforms. You can even share videos to Facebook messenger.

TikTok for you page

Important Places to Know on TikTok

Like most social media apps, TikTok keeps things simple. It’s easy to navigate through the video pages, your profile, and user accounts. Once you know how the For You page works, and you understand how to interact with videos, you’re halfway there.

Other places to be aware of include:

  • Search: The search bar allows you to search for TikTok users. This will be helpful when you want to send a message to a specific person.
  • Add video: The plus icon in the middle of your screen is for adding video content. Tap the button when you want to upload a video to TikTok.
  • Activity: The icon to the right of the Plus button is where you see your activity. This includes any mentions, comments, or new followers.
  • Message: The message icon is one of the ways you can send a message on TikTok. We’ll cover the various ways to send messages on TikTok below.
  • Settings: You can visit the “Settings” page by tapping on your photo on the TikTok app. This is where you’ll be able to adjust your privacy and set push notifications. You can also set preferences regarding comments and interactions.
settings in TikTok

TikTok Direct Messages

Now you know the basics of the TikTok interface, we can look at the direct messaging feature. When you send a direct message to someone on TikTok, you’re communicating privately with the user. Direct messaging allows 2 TikTok accounts to communicate without the publicity of comments.

Like most social media platforms, you can choose to mute notifications when you’re ignoring messages. Due to the number of younger users on TikTok, you can’t just send anyone a message. TikTok only allows friends (people who follow each other) to send messages.

If you attempt to message someone who isn’t your friend, you’ll see a note saying, “Only friends can send messages”. You also need to be over the age of 19 to send and receive direct messages.

TikTok direct messages

You will also need to ensure you’re fully signed up with TikTok first. Ensure your TikTok account is complete, with a valid phone number and email address. Using other social media platforms to log in should give you access to TikTok DMs too.

How to Message Someone on TikTok

There are a couple of ways to send messages on TikTok.

Option 1: Send a DM with the Inbox Icon

Upon opening the TikTok app, you’ll see the inbox icon or “Activity” icon you can tap at the bottom of the page. Use this to visit the activity page.

notification inbox

You can also tap on the “Message” icon to access direct messages. This icon looks similar to a paper plane. Tap the messaging icon and you’ll see a list of people you’re following.

TikTok direct message icon

Tap on a person in your list and you’ll be directed to compose your message. You can type as normal into the messaging bar to send your message and add emojis.

messaging emoji in TikTok

Option 2: Send a DM Through a Users’ Profile

Another way of sending direct messages to someone on TikTok, is to visit their profile. Go directly to the profile page of the person you want to message. You can do this by tapping on the person’s icon when you see their video or searching for their name.

Visiting the “Following” section on your TikTok account will also give you a list of people who can send you direct messages.

When you arrive on the user’s page, tap on the 3 dots to open your options.

TikTok user profile

Here, click on “send message”, to go to the messaging page. Again, remember you can only send and receive messages if you’re friends with the user.

How to Opt-Out of DMs / Stop users sending you messages

If you are a new business turning to TikTok and don’t want people to send you direct messages, that’s fine. You can adjust your TikTok account to remove the messaging feature.

If you don’t want to receive messages on TikTok, go into your profile page settings, and tap the 3 dots. Select the “Privacy” option and scroll to “Who can send you messages”.

settings privacy in TikTok

TikTok automatically protects your TikTok DMs by making them only available to friends. However, you can tap on the setting to choose who you receive messages from.

The 4 options for who can send you a TikTok message are: suggested friends, everyone, friends, and nobody. If you toggle from “Friends” to “no-one” on your TikTok profile, people who sent you a message in the past can still contact you. You’ll also receive messages in return when you message people.

privacy setting on TikTok

Learning to Message People on TikTok

Anyone can learn how to message someone on TikTok, and for business owners, TikTok can become an effective marketing channel to reach your customers.

From the simple paper plane icon to the user settings, there are many easy ways to send and receive messages on TikTok. Once you get the hang of TikTok, you’ll be able to message people every day. And to save some time you can automate your posts with social media scheduling tools. Don’t forget to clean your messages from time to time to reduce clutter. You can tap on a message in the DM feature to remove it from the inbox.

Always remember social media and email etiquette to send direct messages appropriately. You can be reported if you direct message too many people with spammy messages. You can also block individual users so they can’t send you direct messages if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You can DM someone on TikTok in 2 ways. First, you can click on the user’s profile page, and click on the 3 dots in the top right. Select the option to “Send Message” here. Alternatively, go into your direct messages on your TikTok profile. From there, click on a user you want to direct message. The direct message icon looks like an aeroplane.

TikTok allows direct messaging for private conversations. You cannot DM on TikTok if you are under 16 years old, or you’re not a “friend” of the person.

If you can’t DM someone on TikTok, someone may have blocked you on the TikTok app. A TikTok user needs to be friends with another user to send a message. You also need to be over 16 to direct message another person.

You can use other methods to sign into TikTok. Log in through Google, Facebook, or Twitter to message someone without a phone number.

Log into your TikTok account from your desktop using your account credentials. Tap on the aeroplane icon at the top of the page to visit your messages. You can also send a message by tapping on the 3 dots on a user’s page and clicking “send message”.

You need to have an account on TikTok to send direct messages. The direct message feature is only available when you’re “friends” with a user. You can’t mutually follow each other if you don’t have an account.

When you open the app tap the inbox icon at the bottom of the page. Press this to visit the activity page. At the top-right corner, you’ll see the icon for direct messaging.

You may be unable to send a direct message on TikTok if you’re not mutual followers with the other user. There’s also a chance you can’t send a message because you’re under the age of 16. Remember, other users can also set messaging to “Nobody”, which also prevents messaging.

Alli Mariam

Alli Mariam is a content marketer at EmailVendorSelection. She has 2+ years of experience in email and content marketing. When she's not rocking the marketing world, you'll catch her jamming on her guitar or keeping up with the latest AI trends.