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Does Instagram Notify Users About Screenshots of Stories?

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Since Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, screenshots are a great way to save someone’s content that’s posted to their Stories. As a brand or a content creator, you might occasionally experience people screenshotting your Stories to view again later. This is particularly true if you produce valuable content that people tend to find very useful in their lives. Perhaps you might have even done something similar if you encounter another brand or creator’s content that you find useful or want to emulate.

So you may be wondering–Does Instagram notify users when you screenshot their Story? Or do you get notified when someone screenshots your Story? Let’s find out the answer to those questions in this post.

Do You Get Notified When Someone Screenshots Your Instagram Story?

The short answer is–No. Instagram doesn’t notify users when someone screenshots their Story. At some point, the platform started experimenting with this feature and introduced notifications for Story screenshots in February 2018. For this test, a camera shutter icon showed up next to the user who took a screenshot of their Story. This information could be accessed by looking at the list of Story viewers.

Screenshots in Stories Instagram

However, Instagram soon abandoned the experiment after an overwhelmingly negative response from users. With Snapchat, where the feature has existed for as long as one can remember, the main focus is to maintain people’s privacy. The platform has been selling itself as a place to keep things discreet, pioneering the concept of disappearing messages and Stories among popular social media platforms. So it made sense to provide users with notifications when someone screenshots their Stories or messages.

On the other hand, Instagram Stories have a completely different purpose. They’re mostly a way for people to share new content without having to mess up their Feeds. That way, they could post something completely random without sacrificing the consistency or aesthetic of their Feed grid.

As such, the main concern of Instagram users wasn’t people taking screenshots of their Stories. Many users expressed their dislike for the new feature, which resulted in Instagram eventually removing it in June of the same year.

Key takeaways

Instagram does not notify users when someone takes a screenshot of their Story.

Why Instagram Doesn’t Notify You about Story Screenshots

At this point, the only way for a user to find out that their Story has been screenshotted is when someone shares the screenshot with them. This could be directly shared by the person who took the screenshot or through a third party. Either way, there are a number of possible reasons why Instagram is choosing not to notify users when someone screenshots their Story.

Why Instagram Doesn't Notify about Story Screenshots

Backlash from Users

First, as mentioned earlier, there was a lot of backlash from users who were already pretty used to taking screenshots of Stories without any “repercussions.” Story screenshots were already considered a normal part of using the platform, meaning users didn’t find it necessary to get notified about them. This was unlike Snapchat, where screenshot warnings were considered a normal part of the app function.

So the biggest possible reason is that Instagram listened to their users and decided to give them what they wanted. Five months of experimentation was enough to help them gauge how people felt about the feature, leading them to abandon the test altogether.

Promoting Engagement

As you can imagine, social media platforms thrive off of user engagement. If people are engaging with each other, they’re more likely to spend a lot of time using the platform. The same goes for Instagram, where new features and tools are constantly introduced to promote better engagement between users. So having a “warning” that notifies you every time someone screenshots your Stories or vice versa could discourage engagement on the platform.

In some cases, people may hesitate to share content to their Stories because of these notifications. Others may have a less enjoyable experience on the platform because they have no way of saving content they find useful or valuable if it’s shared through Stories. This might gradually contribute to decreased engagement and less platform usage.

Technical Limitations

Finally, there’s also the fact that Instagram has limited control over how people interact with the platform’s content through third-party apps. It may not always be able to detect when someone takes a screenshot of a Story using a third-party tool. That means it won’t be 100% accurate with the notifications, which could leave the company liable for lawsuits concerning the topic.

For example, if someone brings up a lawsuit about a breach of privacy due to not being notified about their Story being screenshotted, Instagram could be tied into the whole thing. So rather than risk that, it’s possible that Instagram has decided to completely avoid notifying users about Story screenshots.

Key takeaways
  • Backlash from Users Instagram abandoned screenshot notifications due to significant user backlash during its 2018 experiment.
  • Promoting Engagement Notifications for screenshots could discourage users from sharing content, negatively impacting overall engagement on the platform.
  • Technical Limitations Instagram faces challenges in accurately detecting screenshots taken through third-party apps, leading to potential legal complications.

When Does Instagram Notify You about Screenshots?

Besides your Story, Instagram also doesn’t send you notifications when someone takes a screenshot of your Feed post or your profile. However, it does notify you about certain screenshots. You can expect to get notified if someone takes a screenshot of a message that you sent in Vanish mode.

Moreover, Instagram will also send notifications when someone takes a screenshot of disappearing photos and videos that you send through a Direct Message. These are the photos and videos taken directly using the camera app within your DM, which will disappear after the recipient views them. In other words, these media files are no longer available once viewed (unless you allow replay, which will let them view the media twice or choose to “Keep in chat”).

If someone takes a screenshot of the photo or video, you’ll see a small circle just next to it to indicate that a screenshot has been taken. Here’s how it’ll look.

screenshot / Instagram

Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be notified about screenshots taken of permanent messages in your private DM thread. Similarly, there won’t be any notifications about screenshots taken of the photos and videos you send in a DM thread from your phone gallery.

Key takeaways

Instagram notifies users only when screenshots are taken in Vanish mode or of disappearing photos/videos in Direct Messages.

Best Practices to Maintain Content Privacy on Instagram

If you’re a content creator, you might have some concerns about people reusing your Stories for their own benefit without giving you due credit. So you might be keen on preventing others from taking a screenshot of your Instagram Stories. While there’s no Instagram feature currently available for this, you do have a few ways to improve your content privacy. Here are a few suggestions to consider.

Ensuring Content Privacy on Instagram

Consider Keeping Your Account Private

The first option may be the least desirable, especially for content creators that want to maximize their reach. However, keeping your account private is easily one of the most effective ways to ensure the privacy of your Instagram content. This allows you to filter the people who can see your content since you have to manually approve people as followers. As such, you can limit your viewership to only include people you trust not to take screenshots of your Stories or reuse them without your approval.

At the same time, it goes without saying that this can be an extremely tenuous process. Not to mention the inability to grow your Instagram audience as effectively because content from private accounts doesn’t show up in people’s Explore pages.

Filter Your Viewers Using the “Close Friends” List

Another option that you can use is the “Close Friends” list. This list will comprise people whom you trust, and you’ll have the option to exclusively share certain Stories with them. That way, you can still keep a public account while ensuring that only a limited number of people see certain types of content you want to share to your Stories.

This is a great option for sharing content that you want only a few close friends to see. So for example, let’s say you want to share a Story of you having some drinks at a bar but you want to keep most of your content family-friendly. You could filter the viewers for said Story by only sharing it with your Close Friends list.

Hide Your Stories from Certain Users

If you want to share your Story with a wider audience but are worried about certain users screenshotting it for their own benefit, you can even choose to hide your Story from them. This is a particularly useful feature to have if you’ve encountered privacy issues with certain users and accounts. For example, they may have reposted a screenshot of your Story without permission and without giving you due credit.

You can hide your Stories from certain users by going to your account’s privacy settings. Then tap on “Story” and select “Hide story from.” In the search bar, you can type in the names of the users you want to prevent from seeing your Stories and tap on “Done.” The users you’ve selected will no longer be able to get access to your Stories, which also means they won’t be able to screenshot them.

Hide Stories from Certain Users

Avoid Sharing Sensitive Information Publicly

It’s also important that you’re cautious about the type of content that you share publicly. Before sharing in-the-moment images and videos through your Stories, make sure they don’t contain any sensitive information that could put your privacy or even safety at risk. For example, you may accidentally share your physical address while doing an unplanned Story unboxing video.

You may want to build an authentic connection with your audience by being candid and sharing Stories of real-time events. However, it’s not worth sacrificing your privacy and safety. So make sure you’re being very careful not to accidentally share sensitive information that people can screenshot and use to their advantage.

In case of situations where you do have to share some sensitive information with certain users, consider taking it to the DMs. This gives you better control over who sees the information, which will also make it easier to narrow down the users who might have leaked the info (in case it comes to that).

Look Out for Problematic Followers

Instagram is a public platform, which means anyone and everyone can use it. This includes people who might have no problem harassing others or putting other people’s safety at risk. Be on the lookout for followers who exhibit problematic tendencies and remove or block them if they make you uncomfortable. This can make a whole world of difference in preventing unauthorized usage of your content since you’re actively removing people who might have the tendency for unscrupulous activities.

Key takeaways
  • Consider Keeping Your Account Private Setting your account to private allows you to control who views your content, enhancing privacy.
  • Filter Your Viewers Using the “Close Friends” List Using the "Close Friends" list lets you share Stories with a select group, ensuring more controlled viewership.
  • Hide Your Stories from Certain Users Hiding Stories from specific users prevents them from viewing and potentially misusing your content.
  • Avoid Sharing Sensitive Information Publicly Be cautious about sharing personal or sensitive information in Stories to protect your privacy and safety.
  • Look Out for Problematic Followers Remove or block followers who exhibit problematic behavior to safeguard your content from unauthorized use.

Best Practices on Interacting with Other Users’ Content on Instagram

Screenshots of people’s Stories are sometimes essential for your Instagram content strategy. For instance, businesses may want to repost people’s Stories in which they’ve mentioned their brand so they could provide social proof. Or some content creators might want to share useful information from other creators that their audience might find valuable.

Either way, there are instances in which you’re the one doing the screenshotting. So if you ever have to take a screenshot of someone’s Story with the intention of reusing it, make sure to notify them and ask for permission. Even if Instagram doesn’t notify them, letting them know about it yourself can save you a lot of trouble later on.

Pro tip: Be sure to screenshot the conversation in which they explicitly gave you permission. That way, even if they change their minds later on and try to stir up trouble, you’ll have the receipts.

Moreover, be sure to give credit when it’s due by mentioning the original poster in your Story. This will allow you to stay in the original creator’s good books and maintain a good relationship with them. As such, it’ll be easier to prevent any issues from arising about piracy and copyrights.

Key takeaways

Always ask for permission and give credit when screenshotting and sharing someone else's Story to maintain respectful and legal content usage.

Use Instagram Story Screenshots Wisely

So now you know that Instagram doesn’t notify users about people taking screenshots of their Stories. This gives you the freedom to screenshot other users’ Stories and save the information for later or reuse the content for your own Instagram strategy. But make sure you’re following the best practices highlighted above to prevent issues related to piracy and copyright infringement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I know if someone screenshot my Instagram Story?

Currently, the only way to know if someone screenshot your Instagram Story is if they shared the screenshot with you.

How do you take a screenshot of an Instagram post?

You can take a screenshot of an Instagram post by using your phone’s screenshot mechanism, which usually involves pressing and holding your volume down and power button simultaneously.

Does Instagram notify DM screenshots?

Instagram doesn’t notify screenshots of regular DM conversations but will send notifications for screenshots taken of disappearing photos and videos.

How do you save Instagram pictures without screenshots?

You can save Instagram pictures without screenshots by tapping on the save button at the bottom right-hand corner of the post.

How can you see who screenshotted your Story?

There’s currently no way to see who screenshotted your Story.

About the Author
Jacqueline Zote is a freelance writer and content producer. She writes for leading blogs in the digital marketing space. Her areas of expertise include influencer marketing, social media marketing, social media management, and content marketing.