Snapchat is currently one of the most popular social media apps. Although it’s well known for its ability to send photos that disappear in a matter of seconds, another feature that users like about it is the screenshot notifications. This gives users a notification if they send a Snapchat that the recipient then captures and saves. As simple as this feature is, it’s not something we’ve seen the likes of Facebook or Twitter implement yet. Recently though, the Instagram screenshot notifications feature saw wide release.
This recent policy change means that if you have an Instagram account and send someone a photo via messages, and they then take a screenshot, you’ll get a notification.
Didn’t They Already Add Instagram Screenshot Notifications?
It’s true, back in February of last year, we saw Instagram add notifications to the app. This was originally an addition to alert users if someone took a screenshot of what photos they had on their story. But, this feature didn’t last long. Why Instagram chose to remove it is unknown, but it’s likely that this was just a trial phase.
More recently, Instagram users have seen that the screenshot alerts are once again a part of the app. But unlike the previous update where they added the feature, this time it only applies to direct messages. More specifically, photos that you send which have a time limit on them. If you screenshot what your friend sends you, then they’ll receive an Instagram screenshot notification showing them that you have done so.
This doesn’t apply to regular posts that they share. Screenshotting photos they upload to their profile or their story won’t notify them.
By the way, you may want to know more about ‘Does Instagram Notify When You Screenshot a Post‘.
Instagram and the Feed Update
There was another recent update to Instagram that a lot of users consider being a controversial change. One notable design feature of social media platforms is their vertical layout. Facebook’s feed is vertical, as is Twitter and Instagram.
Instagram made a bold decision to change this and chose to switch the feed to be horizontal rather than the standard vertical layout. This didn’t last long. Within a few hours of releasing the update, Instagram had no choice but to revert the changes. Users were quick to flood their support team with complaints, and fortunately, they heard what was being said.
This isn’t the first time they made an update like this. For several months now, Instagram has been changing the “Explore” area of the app. One of the changes that they made was making this section a horizontal scroll, but only a small group of users have access to this feature as it’s still in the test phase.
Not too long ago, this update was accidentally made available to all users. Within minutes users saw another update which made the Explore tab vertical scrolling again. This made many users aware of what Instagram was working on. It also raises the question of if Instagram will also be making feed section have horizontal scroll too. Luckily, because of the backlash users had in response to this, it’s not likely that Instagram will bring it back any time soon.
After the accidental release of this feature, Instagram was quick to respond. According to a spokesperson for the platform: “After today’s update, some users may notice that their feed appears differently. This was a bug with the app, and we have now fixed the problem.”
While it may have just been a bug, Instagram’s head made a post on Twitter, which had a slightly different tone. According to Adam Mosseri’s tweet, the new feed layout was no more than part of their test phase. Only specific users should have been able to access it.
This leaves a lot of interpretation to be made. If it was just a test, then will Instagram be bringing horizontal feeds to the app along with Instagram screenshot notifications? Also, since more users got access to the feature that developers were planning, are they slowly releasing it to more users?
What Else Has Been Happening with Instagram?
Even with all the controversy that surrounds Instagram’s feed and policy changes, the last year has been fantastic for the company.
With the introduction of Instagram’s “Story” feature, similar to that of Snapchat’s own, more users were actively using the app. At first, this was one of the features that only a handful of users were using. For the most part, this was mainly because Snapchat has had stories since launch. But, over the last year, Instagram Stories has taken off and had more users actively posting on the platform. In fact, the statistics show Snapchat’s story feature has half the number of daily users that Instagram does. This is, without a doubt, a big blow to Snapchat, the original creator of stories.
Taking Advertising to a New Level
Instagram has also taken its ads to the next level. Considering how great Facebook Ads has been for marketers, it’s no surprise that after buying out Instagram, it’s becoming more advertiser-friendly.
Rather than creating ads which redirect customers to their website, businesses can sell directly through Instagram. Not only does this eliminate the need for small businesses to create a website, but it also means that the ad data which Instagram collect can be more accurate.
Note that over 2 million advertising accounts use Instagram each month and of Instagram’s user base, roughly 80% are following a brand account. With only a fifth of users not following brands, this gives Instagram a lot of potential in the eyes of advertisers.
Instagram Stories and Ads
These two features are now being used together. Advertisers can now publish their ads using Instagram stories, maximizing the exposure that they get.
Of the massive number of stories that users upload to Instagram each day (as many as 400 million), over 30% of those are brand stories. This goes to show that Instagram’s ad platform is catching up with Facebook ads at an incredible rate. Facebook has even said that by 2020, they’ll be making 70% of the company’s revenue from Instagram alone.
So, we’ve seen Facebook’s ad platform exceed our expectations. After Facebook took ownership of Instagram, we’re now starting to see Instagram marketing become more viable. It’s probably worth asking how long until Twitter and Snapchat follow suit and become as ad-friendly as their competitors are.
How Can I Screenshot Without Alerting Someone?
After Snapchat getting praise for their notification alerts, it was only a matter of time before Instagram added it to their app. Like Snapchat though, there are plenty of users wondering how to get around Instagram screenshot notification. There’re a few ways to do this:
- Use a screen recorder or the built-in iOS screen recording feature. After you start the recording simply open Instagram, go the message you want to screenshot, exit the app, and stop the recording. You can then watch the video recording and screenshot Instagram photos from there.
- Access Instagram through their website instead. Luckily, they didn’t add screenshot notifications to the Instagram website. So, you’re able to view the photo online and screenshot it without notifying them. You can use a tool like Gyazo to do this.
- A third-party smartphone app, like “iOS Screen Recorder,” does the job too. It will capture the photo you want to screenshot and save it to your gallery.
There are always risks when you screenshot on social media apps. If you decide to use a third-party app, then this is the riskiest choice. Consider Snapchat again: using a different app to screenshot without notifications can get you an account ban if you’re caught. It’s too soon to say, but this is likely the case with Instagram too.
To Conclude for Instagram Screenshot Notifications
Instagram deciding to add notifications once again is a good sign. Perhaps, and hopefully, other social media apps will decide to do this too. In particular, WhatsApp and Facebook users have been requesting this feature. Considering that we now see Instagram screenshot notifications, there’s a good chance that other platforms will indeed do so.
On the other hand, you might not be a fan of this feature. If so, you can use one of the solutions above and screenshot without notifying the other person. If you have a screen recording app, then this will also work for Snapchat too!