Over the past few days word has spread that Instagram will begin alerting users when a screenshot is taken by another user. While this isn’t exactly untrue, it’s not exactly 100% correct, either.
This news has been sparked by a number of screenshots that have been making the rounds, screenshots such as this:
— Esquire (@esquire) November 28, 2016
While the image is indeed legitimate, the story attached to it isn’t. You see, Instagram isn’t alerting users whenever they take screenshots of their feed, instead the above notification comes whenever someone takes a screenshot of a temporary direct message sent through Instagram Direct.
So if you happen to be scrolling through Instagram and see something you just have to screenshot to likely share with someone at a later date, the user won’t be notified. However, if that user sent the image via Instagram Direct and you took a snap, boom, they’ll know about it.
Much like Stories, Instagram now allows users to send private messages which also disappear after they’ve been viewed, a la Snapchat. Much like Snapchat, if you take a screenshot of that ephemeral message, the sender will be notified.