No one would blame you for feeling the itch to nab yourself a screenshot or record a hilarious video of something worthwhile, especially on Instagram. But if you feel that urge, then other people are feeling the urge, too. What if they’re taking screenshots of your Instagram content? Is there a way to know? Will Instagram notify you?
It doesn’t matter if you’re wondering because you yourself wants to take screenshots or you’re worried other people are doing it to you, it’s a really good question to ask and certainly worth knowing. The answer is a bit more complicated than ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Let’s break it down.
Instagram Stories Are Free of Notifications
Long story short? No. For any photos or videos you throw up onto Instagram–that others will see on their Instagram feed–you won’t get a notification. If you screen capture someone’s user profile, they won’t be notified and neither will you if someone commits the same act. And, lastly, the Explore tab is also free of any screen capture notifications–none for you and none for them.
You may have noticed a picture being painted. If not, that’s okay. Any content that has the potential to be public, Instagram will not send you a notification–nor will the other person–when you take a screenshot or screen capture a video. ‘Public,’ that’s the keyword.
What About More Private Content?
Long story short? Yes and no. Here’s where things get a bit complicated. Normally, Instagram won’t tell the other person you took a screenshot or when you’re screen capturing a conversation. However, once the other person sends you, or you send them, a disappearing photo or video message, Instagram will throw you or the other person a notification. Then you’ll have some explaining to do.
So, in essence, messages, videos messages and photos that are there to stay in the conversation are free to screenshot or screen capture. But the content of the same nature that’s supposed to disappear in a puff of smoke will send red flags to you or the other person.
Instagram’s Crazy Trial Run
At one point, Instagram did send notifications to the source of the content whenever someone decided to screenshot or screen capture an Instagram story. It was a very short trial run, only a few months, back in February, 2018, but has since been shelved. What Instagram plans to do with that crazy trial run is entirely up to them; the ball is in their court. Hence, why it was mentioned the question is a bit more complicated than a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
Who’s to say Instagram won’t quietly turn that feature back on? A company typically doesn’t run a trial run like that and decide to shelve it. After all, an identical feature is present in Snapchat and it’s rather helpful, considering the sensitive nature of content that’s been known to get shared between two people. Why wouldn’t Instagram run further tests? Be wary of that possibility when you’re taking screenshots or screen capturing videos.
In reality, you probably shouldn’t be screenshotting someones story or screen capturing someone’s video story. At least ask permission first, even if Instagram doesn’t give the source a notification of someones screenshot. Or, alternatively, you can use Instagram’s bookmark function.
Instagram’s Bookmark Feature
Let’s say you really like a specific post and you want to come back to it later. Why not bookmark the post instead of taking a screenshot? While it does have the potential of disappearing, depending on the user’s desire to delete an old Instagram post, you still get to revisit a picture you wanted to keep, but in a more ethical fashion.
The user isn’t notified of the bookmark either and it isn’t exactly a hidden feature on Instagram. It’s right there on every post, begging you to use it. And it’s super easy to use, too. Here’s how:
1. Locate and launch the Instagram app. Its icon is the outline of a camera with the background being of an ombre effect.
2. Log into Instagram with your Instagram account and password, if you aren’t already logged in.
3. Head over to a profile or find a post in your Instagram feed that you’d like to view at a later date. Once you have, select the post.
4. Now, along the bottom of the post, you’ll see a handful of icons, like sharing it or commenting or liking. But, more importantly, you’ll see the Bookmark icon, indicated by a favicon. You can find it in the bottom right corner of the post, on the same line as the other icons. Tap it.
5. Now that it’s saved, you can view it later by heading back to your profile, opening your menu and selecting Saved.
Avoid Third-Party Apps
It’s really tempting to consider using a third-party app that advertises the ability to send you notifications of someone taking screenshots. Don’t. Because of Instagram’s own system and the limitations it puts on apps interacting with it, you’re basically installing a scam. And if it’s a scam, then your personal information is in serious danger.
The burning sensation of knowing if someone is secretly taking screenshots isn’t worth an empty bank account or other nefarious acts one can do with your personal information.