Instagram is now testing a feature that will inform users when followers screenshot Instagram stories in a controversial move towards copying one of Snapchat‘s biggest features.
The majority of social media networks pull from each other in one way or another. With more and more features being added to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, there’s a decent amount of overlap as the services get more homogenous and fleshed out. It appears as if Instagram has taken another note from Snapchat, with a potential rollout of the ability to tell when people screenshot Instagram stories.
The news came from a statement to TechCrunch where Instagram confirmed to the media outlet that they were testing the feature, and selective users from around the world are reporting being informed when they screenshot Instagram stories rather seriously that, “Next time you take a screenshot or screen recording, the person who posted the story will be able to see it.”
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The Instagram Stories feature is a close copy from Snapchat, with parent company Facebook trying to capitalize on the success of the booming social network. With a large portion of the younger crowd using Snapchat as their go-to social media network, it’s no wonder that Instagram has taken a page from Snapchat’s playbook, but many are upset about this new feature as they had specifically migrated away from the app to avoid this feature.
The feature that shows when you screenshot Instagram stories only shows who has watched the story when you tap the “seen by” area at the bottom left corner. When you open this menu, you’ll see a shutter icon next to the name of the account when someone has taken a screenshot of your Instagram story. It’s a little less obvious than Snapchat’s notification, but it still has users divided over the usefulness of the feature.
Instagram Stories, just as with Snapchat’s entire design, are intended to be a temporary peek into the life of users that vanish after a day. By opening up the ability to tell when people screenshot Instagram Stories, users will have a better understanding of when people screenshot what is supposed to be a more temporary feature.
If you are affected by this feature and want to screenshot Instagram stories without the user being notified, there are some current workarounds, as users on Twitter have pointed out. You can currently set your phone to airplane mode and then screenshot, and there’s also the option to view the Instagram story through your web browser on a desktop and take a screenshot from there. However, it’s probably a better idea to just avoid screenshotting pictures that aren’t intended to be saved.
In addition to the various funny filters, one of the most appealing aspects of Snapchat is the fact that the snaps are timed and that it informs you when people watch them. This lets people share whatever they want without worries that it will be saved without their knowledge, so it’s no wonder that Instagram is testing this feature. There are obviously people unhappy with this potential change, however, for one reason or another. Because of this Instagram is looking for feedback from users in order to better understand whether this feature will pay off in the long run.