Instagram will notify users if you take a screenshot from their stories

People are deeply worried that Instagram is tattling on them whenever they take a screenshot. See this inflammatory tweet as an example:

Instagram sends alerts when you take screenshots now: https://t.co/ZGnSEzcPil pic.twitter.com/n13nuc6uSF

— Esquire (@esquire) November 28, 2016

This story is slightly true but also incredibly misleading. As our own Casey Newton noted in his update on Instagram stories, the photography platform will indeed alert users when someone has taken a screenshot but only when the photo or video is part of an Instagram story. So if you’re deep into someone’s grid and screenshot a photo of them taking a shot of turkey fat, they won’t know. I promise. If, however, you screenshot a person’s photo from their Instagram story in which they’re hanging out with your ex, then yes, they will know. I promise.

As a reminder, stories are Instagram’s version of Snapchat. Videos, photos, and Boomerangs can be added to temporary stories that disappear after 24 hours.

Snapchat also sends screenshot alerts. Both platforms don’t want you capturing what are supposed to be ephemeral moments. Now just resist the urge to double tap on an ancient photo your secret internet obsession posted, and you’re good to go.


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