Instagram Is Testing Alerts For When Someone Screenshots A Story & THIS IS NOT A DRILL
Now's the time to get your fill of taking screenshots of Instagram stories, before it's too late. In a move that would bring the photo-sharing app closer to Snapchat, Instagram might show when you screenshot a story, TechCrunch reports. IG is merely in the testing phase of this new feature, though, so don't panic *quite* yet.
The feature is apparently being tested out only on certain users. Those users are receiving a standard pop-up alert saying that the next time they take a screenshot of someone's story, that user will be able to see that.
Under this potential new feature, users would not be given a direct notification that a screenshot of their story was taken, per TechCrunch, but would be able to tell who took one by a symbol that will appear next to a user's name in the list of viewers. A screenshot posted to Twitter by an IG user, which you can see below, shows that the symbol looks like a camera shutter.
It's awesome news if you want to know when your ex just took a screenshot of your selfie; not such great news if you have a habit of taking stealthy screenshots of your ex.
In a statement to TechCrunch, representatives for IG said, "We are always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you." The test, TechCrunch posits, might be used to determine how screenshot privacy affects user engagement on stories. In other words, IG may be trying to see whether users view stories less often knowing they can't pull off a stealthy screenshot.
Previously, IG users would receive a notification if another user took a screenshot of a direct message. But the new feature, if it goes into effect, would make it so that users can also tell when anyone takes a screenshots of their story (though, as explained above, not directly notified).
Needless to say, the fact that IG is even toying with the idea of rolling out this feature is cause for concern for many users.
"IG just threw a wrench in somebody's #ValentinesDay with this one," wrote Vogue's Shelby Ivey Christie on Twitter. Several users shared memes to express their opinions on the subject.
IG's screenshotting privacy has apparently been one of its most prized features for many users. "[B]lessed that Instagram doesn’t let you know when people screenshot your story or else I’d be exposed af," wrote one user on Feb. 7. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Tyler.)
"Instagram is now exposing everyone who screenshots an Instagram story," wrote another user. "We can no longer screenshot in peace."
This user pretty much summarized the collective feeling on the matter.
Users were particularly upset given how social messaging apps have been undergoing changes recently.
Just this week, Snapchat updated its layout in what amounts to the biggest change the app has made in three years. Users weren't thrilled; some 577,00 had signed a Change.org petition calling for its reversal as of writing.
As The Verge points out, there are still some workarounds to this whole screenshotting fiasco. For instance, you can still use the desktop version of Instagram and screenshot from there. But then you'd have to send the screenshot to your friends, via... Hangouts? Facebook Messenger? Email??? (What is the world coming to?!) If the whole point is to be low-key on stalking your ex by sending off a quick screenshot to your besties, this seems like an awful lot of hoops to jump through. As of now, though, the feature hasn't been put in place officially, so you can all breathe sigh of relief... for now.