The screenshot function is like a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can be helpful for saving important posts, funny memes, or recipes you come across online. On the other hand, it can be a tool for collecting private information that you may not want to get out.
One of the most sinister ways that people use screenshots is by saving compromising photos, videos, or messages sent in confidence and using them to out or even blackmail LGBTQ users.
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This phenomenon is particularly popular on apps like Instagram, where users may post risqué stories meant for close friends only or send disappearing photos to people they’re chatting with in the DMs.
So, does the app have any kind of safeguard against these situations? Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story? What about a photo or video in the direct messages? And if it doesn’t, how can you prevent unwanted people from taking screencaps of your content?
Learn the answers to these questions and more as we go over Instagram’s notification features for screenshots.
Can People See When Someone Screenshots On Instagram?
Generally, no, but it depends on what they’re screenshots of. For example, if someone takes a screenshot of someone’s profile picture or post, Instagram won’t notify you. However, if someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing photo or video sent privately to them through a direct message, then that’s another story.
Does Instagram Notify When You Screenshot A Story?
No. Currently, users can screenshot an Instagram story without facing any consequences from the app, but it might not always be like this. In 2018, the management team for the Instagram app discussed the possibility of making screenshot notifications available for stories.
Since Instagram stories are supposed to only be viewable to a user’s followers for 24 hours, people may feel uncomfortable that other users could have copies of their stories without their knowledge. So, a feature that tells users who have taken screenshots of their Instagram stories is a reasonable way to safeguard their privacy.
While people can screenshot Instagram stories now without other users knowing, story screenshot notifications may become an added feature in the future to protect Instagram users.
Does Instagram Notify When Your Post Gets Screencapped?
No. Much like how any Instagram user can screenshot a story without consequence, the same is true for posts. It doesn’t matter if the Instagram post is a photo or video – anyone can take screenshots and save them to their photostream.
Does Instagram Notify When Someone Screenshots A DM Chat?
No, screenshotting Instagram DMs from the chat history itself won’t prompt any Instagram screenshot notifications to the other user. Even taking screenshots of non-disappearing content like a video message that the sender selected “keep in chat” for won’t notify users.
Does Instagram Notify When Someone Screenshots A Photo Or Video In Direct Messages?
Yes. When someone takes screenshots of a disappearing photo or video, Instagram notifies the sender by sending a popup notification with the name of who took the screenshot. On top of that, it will notify users by adding a hatched icon on the side of the screenshotted disappearing photo or video, with a note that reads “screenshot” on the DM chat.
An Alternative To Screenshots: The Instagram Bookmark Feature
It’s common for Instagram users to stumble upon old pictures with friends, inspiring quotes, lifestyle ideas, or even compelling ads on their feed that they screenshot for future reference. So, if you really need to save photo or video posts for future reference, but don’t want to get flagged for screenshotting, we recommend using Instagram’s bookmark feature.
To bookmark a post, all you need to do is tap the bookmark icon on the lower right corner of the post and select a collection to keep it in. To access it, tap the menu icon (the three horizontal lines at the top right corner of your profile) and go to “Saved” to see all your bookmarked posts. This way, you can conveniently revisit a specific post and keep your collection organized.
Tip: You can turn on post notifications for accounts so that you never miss out on content to add to your saved posts.
Why You’d Want To Protect Yourself From Unwanted Screenshots
You may want to screenshot a story or a post for innocent reasons – say, you saw an interesting product you want to buy later or you see a cool ‘fit you want to recreate. But some people may take screenshots for less benign reasons, such as:
To Use As Blackmail
Whether it’s to ask for money or sexual favors, some people may lure other users into engaging in intimate conversations in DMs and ask for nudes. And if you don’t use the disappearing photo function, you could be unwittingly sending blackmail material. LGBTQ people who are still in the closet are particularly vulnerable to this.
To Catfish Other People
For a lot of gay people, Instagram is where we post photos of our best selves – our best shirtless gym photos, our best beach pics, our best outfits. Catfishers looking to trick an unsuspecting victim could steal your photos to pretend to be you or someone else without your knowledge.
Is There A Way To See If Someone Took A Screenshot Of Your Instagram Posts Or Stories?
No. Despite what third-party apps say, there is no way of knowing if someone took a screenshot of your posts or stories. Instagram is strict with its privacy code, so it’s best to be wary of any third-party app that claims to send you additional Instagram screenshot notifications.
Instagram Features To Protect Your Account From Discreet Screenshots
To protect your account from people who might take screenshots of your profile or messages discreetly, we suggest trying out these options.
The Unsend Feature
After sending a private photo or video and keeping it in the DM chat history, you can unsend it if you’re worried that the person might take screenshots of it. The other person will receive a push notification that you have unsent a message but won’t necessarily know what you unsent.
If you’re worried about anonymous users taking screenshots of your story or posts, you can switch your privacy settings to private instead of public.
If you have some followers that you suspect to be taking screenshots of your posts, you can block them to restrict them from accessing your content or contacting you.
TL;DR: FAQ About Screenshot Notifications
To give you a summary of the Instagram app’s screenshot notification features, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
- Can people see when you screenshot on Instagram? It depends on what you’re taking a screenshot of.
- Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a story? Currently, no.
- Does Instagram notify when you screenshot a post? Currently, no.
- Does Instagram send notifications when you screenshot pictures or videos to be “kept in chat”? Currently, no.
- Does Instagram send a notification when you screenshot disappearing photos or videos? Currently, yes.
- Does Instagram notify you when you screen record video posts, stories, or disappearing content? Currently, no.
- Are third-party apps reliable for additional screenshot notifications? No, and they could compromise your account, so it’s best to delete them.
Think Before You Send
With this guide, we discussed all the dos and don’ts of Instagram screenshots. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t have very many safeguards against discreet screenshots. You will get notified if someone takes a screenshot of a disappearing photo or video, but that’s just about it. So, before sending out anything that might put you at any kind of risk, think long and hard about whether you trust the people who can see your posts and stories.