Myths vs. Reality: Can You Really Tell if Someone Screenshots Your Instagram Story?

Myths vs. Reality: Can You Really Tell if Someone Screenshots Your Instagram Story?
July 27, 2023
Reading time

Instagram remains to be one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide. As of January 2023, the Instagram app boasts around two billion monthly active users, making it an ideal platform for digital marketing and content sharing.

Instagram users can post visual content, including Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories is a feature allowing users to share their moments of the day in a slideshow format that disappears after 24 hours.

Since IG stories only last 24 hours, many users can screenshot stories to save engaging and appealing content. Other users may screenshot your IG stories when they are published publicly. However, you may wonder if Instagram notifies you when someone screenshots your stories.

Instagram screenshot notifications have their fair share of pros and cons. In this post, you’ll learn why users screenshot stories and how Instagram notifies you about screenshots. We will also discuss how to maintain your Instagram content privacy and proper interactions with other Instagram users’ content.

Key Takeaways

  • Instagram doesn’t notify users when someone screenshots their stories.
  • However, Instagram will notify screenshots of messages in Vanish mode or disappearing photos and videos in direct messages.
  • To maintain your Instagram Stories’ privacy, you can make your account private, use the Close Friends feature, hide stories from selected users, avoid sharing personal information, and check for problematic followers.
  • When you plan to screenshot and repost someone’s Instagram story, send them a direct message and ask for their permission.

Say goodbye to expensive and complex UGC management with Archive.

Get started with Archive for free to start saving time and increasing sales.
Get Archive Now

Say goodbye to expensive and complex UGC management with Archive.

Get started with Archive for free to start saving time and increasing sales.
Get Archive Now

Why People Screenshot Instagram Stories

The slideshow format on Instagram Stories is fleeting. Each story appears for up to 60 seconds, the shortest being 15 seconds. Taking screenshots is a way to appreciate the story content or read information longer. Screenshots often save IG stories that provide helpful content like tips and tutorials.

Some users also screenshot stories for reposting as part of their Instagram content marketing strategies. A screenshot of your story may be reposted on TikTok or sent in direct messages on WhatsApp. You may also do the same when you screenshot someone’s Instagram story. Either way, you may see your stories posted on other social media platforms when people screenshot or screen-record them.

Can you see when someone screenshots your IG Stories?

No. Instagram won’t notify you when someone screenshots your stories. Although, in 2018, Instagram experimented with screenshot notifications and introduced them for IG Stories. The notification would present a camera shutter icon next to the usernames of those who screenshotted your stories. However, this experiment didn’t last long due to the backlash.

While a similar feature exists on Snapchat, this social media platform has been marketing itself as a channel for discreet interactions and content sharing. This is why story screenshot notifications make sense on Snapchat.

Meanwhile, Instagram Stories allows users to share random content without messing up their feeds. Screenshot notifications may ruin the experience users share on the Instagram app.

Image by Tunahan Günkan on Unsplash

When does Instagram alert you about screenshots?

Instagram doesn’t notify you when someone screenshots your Instagram posts or reels. However, in certain circumstances, Instagram notifies users of screenshot notifications in direct messages.

When turning on the Vanish mode, Instagram will send screenshot notifications if your message was screen-captured. The notification will show as [username] took a screenshot.

Vanish mode is a feature allowing you to send disappearing content on DMs. You can turn it on by swiping up an Instagram DM. Messages in vanish mode disappear when you leave the DM or turn it off.

Instagram will also notify users if screenshots of disappearing photos and videos are taken. Disappearing photos or videos are taken directly from your camera. They will disappear once the receiver views them. When the receiver screenshots your disappearing message, a starburst icon will appear next to the message.

If you send a photo or video from your camera roll, Instagram won’t notify any screenshots made because they are permanent in direct messages.

Why Instagram Doesn’t Notify Story Screenshots

You may only know when someone made an Instagram screenshot if they informed you directly, turned on the Vanish mode, sent a disappearing message, or if you saw them posted on other social media platforms. Here’s why Instagram won’t notify you about story screenshots:

User backlash

Instagram’s five-month test in 2018 didn’t work because of user backlash. Story screenshots are considered normal in the Instagram app, so users didn’t like getting notifications about them. Since most people use Instagram for content sharing, these alerts may ruin their user experience.

Instagram listened to this backlash and scrapped the idea. Rather than making story screenshot notifications, they launched features where screenshot alerts are feasible: Vanish mode and disappearing messages.

Engagement purposes

With over two billion users, Instagram thrives on user engagement. Story screenshot notifications can affect user engagement. For some, seeing these alerts can discourage engagement, mainly when their reposted content receives a negative response from other platforms.

For these reasons, some users may hesitate to share content, making the Instagram app experience less enjoyable. This disadvantage can decrease engagement and cause less platform usage.

Limited interaction controls

Users can interact with Instagram content in various ways, including through bookmarks or by accessing Instagram through a web browser. If they don’t want Instagram to notify you of screenshots, they may use third-party apps and websites to do the job.

Instagram cannot control most user interactions on their app, especially with third-party apps. They may not accurately detect screenshots made by these third parties. So if a user files a lawsuit for a data breach due to not getting screenshot notifications, Instagram could suffer losses. 

Image by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

How To Maintain Content Privacy on Instagram

Without story screenshot notifications, you may sometimes find your data and content privacy violated. Fortunately, these tips can help you maintain your Instagram content's privacy and protect sensitive information from leaking.

Consider making your account private

Consider making your Instagram account private if you’re not a content creator or influencer. To make your account private, follow these steps:

For both Androids and iPhones:

  • Go to Profile by pressing your profile picture on the bottom right
  • Tap the three horizontal lines icon in the upper right corner
  • Choose Settings
  • Press Privacy and enable the Private Account toggle
  • Confirm by tapping the Switch to Private

Once you confirm, your account will become private unless you switch it back to public. Keeping your Instagram account private can ensure content privacy because only your followers are allowed to view your stories. 

When someone follows you, you will approve the request first. This way, you can limit the number of people who can view and screenshot your stories.

Filter viewers through the “Close Friends” option

Close Friends is an option if you don’t want to make your Instagram account private. You will see this option at the bottom right before publishing a story. The Close Friends icon is a green circle with a white star.

Close Friends is a list of selected users allowed to view and interact with your stories. You can add or remove followers from this list at any time. This feature allows you to keep your account public while sharing stories privately. For instance, sharing personal-related content is possible with your Close Friends when you want to keep your public stories family-friendly.

Hide stories from specific users

Even with the Close Friends option, you may still worry about your stories getting screen-captured by specific users. Although you can remove them from the list, you may accidentally add them back when you edit your Close Friends. Luckily, there are many ways to completely hide your stories from these users.

To hide your story from specific users on Android:

  • Go to your Profile by pressing your profile picture on the bottom right
  • Tap the three horizontal lines icon in the upper right corner
  • Choose Settings, then tap Story under the Interactions menu
  • Tap the 0 people under the Hide story from option
  • Choose or search for the usernames you’d like to hide your stories from

On the iPhone:

  • Go to your Profile by pressing your profile picture on the bottom right
  • Tap the three horizontal lines icon in the upper right corner
  • Choose Settings and Privacy
  • Scroll down a bit and tap Hide Story and Live
  • Tap the Hide story and live from, then choose or search for the usernames you’d like to hide your stories from

When you want to hide your stories from non-followers, go to their profile, tap the three horizontal lines on the upper right, and choose Hide Your Story. You can also open your stories, tap the Viewers section, press the three dots next to a username, and select Hide Your Story.

Remember that hiding your stories doesn’t block or prevent users from viewing your profile, posts, and reels. Your privacy settings also affect where your stories appear.

Never share personal information

You should be cautious about the Instagram content you share publicly. Ensure they don’t contain any sensitive information. For example, ensure your home address is not displayed in an unboxing video.

Check for problematic followers

If your Instagram account is public, anyone can follow it. You should always check for problematic followers that exhibit unpleasant behaviors. These behaviors include harassment, doxing, or leaving hateful comments. You should remove them from your followers or block them.

How To Interact With Other Instagram Users’ Content

Story screenshots can benefit your Instagram content marketing. If you wish to screenshot and repost someone’s story, you should directly message the original poster and ask permission.

Asking for permission allows you to reuse stories with proper attributions. You’ll repost a story based on the original poster’s conditions. For instance, the original poster will ask you to mention and tag their account in your repost. This way, you can prevent any piracy or copyright issues from arising.

Pro Tip: When using Instagram Stories for content marketing, use emojis, stickers, polls, Q&As, countdowns, music, and other interactive features to make your stories trend. This way, when someone screenshots your stories, you can benefit from the engagement they may receive once reposted.

Leverage Instagram Story Screenshots Properly With Archive

Instagram story screenshots are a feature that is debatable among users. While Instagram won’t notify you when someone screenshots your stories, there are still specific situations where the app will notify you in direct messages. For this reason, maintaining content privacy is essential in protecting your private data from breaches.

Proper reposting is also significant in your Instagram marketing. In search of an Instagram content marketing tool to upscale your engagements? Look no further, as Archive is the partner you need for successful content marketing, reposting, and repurposing on Instagram. Visit our website and discover how our team of experts can help expand your reach beyond Instagram.

Leverage Instagram Stories the proper way with Archive. Sign up for free today to learn how our team can help upscale your Instagram content marketing.

FAQs on Instagram Story Screenshots

Can you screenshot an Instagram story in airplane mode?

Yes. When the stories have adequately loaded, you can screenshot an Instagram story in airplane mode. You will need to turn the internet on first, and once the stories have loaded, you can screenshot. For Vanish mode and disappearing messages, Instagram will not notify the receiver when you’re in airplane mode but will do so once your internet connection is back.

How can you create Instagram story highlights?

You can create Instagram story highlights by adding stories to existing ones. To create a new highlight:

  • Go to your Profile
  • Tap the New (+) icon under your bio
  • Select stories, then tap Next in the upper right
  • You’ll be directed to Edit Cover to choose a cover photo and enter a name
  • Press Done, and you now have a story highlight

Are highlights helpful in marketing Instagram stories?

Instagram highlights are ideal for marketing stories. You can categorize them and put together unified designs tailored to your brand. For example, you can create a highlight dedicated to frequently asked questions, so when users visit your profile for inquiries, they can view the FAQs highlight to see their desired answers.

UGC management was broken, Archive fixed it.

We handle and have it all in one place - automatic detection, displaying, and claiming of usage rights for your UGC.
Get Archive

UGC management was broken, Archive fixed it.

We handle and have it all in one place - automatic detection, displaying, and claiming of usage rights for your UGC.