XX min read

Exploring Instagram's Features: Does Instagram Show Screenshots?

Published on
July 6, 2023
Does Instagram show screenshots? Find out the answer to this question and learn how to protect your privacy while on the platform in this post.

Instagram has almost 1.7 billion active users as of April 2023, and around 200 million are businesses. These numbers only suggest one thing: Instagram has been an indispensable tool for companies wanting to connect with their target audience. However, amid this burgeoning number of platform users, Instagram faces numerous challenges regarding privacy.

One of its most recent privacy-related controversies involves the app sending notifications when the recipient screenshots the sender's message. Most users are against this change and claim that the app is invasive.

This post will discuss this matter in detail while determining whether or not the app is indeed intrusive. This post will also offer suggestions on how to protect one's privacy while on the app.

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Importance of Instagram User Privacy

Once you sign-up on Instagram, you agree to their policies. Part of this set of rules is to give the platform authority to access and use the following user information:

  • Account holder's full name
  • Account Password
  • Captured data like videos and photos
  • Data linking account users to the images they liked, tagged, or took
  • Address book contacts, text messages, and other similar personal data
  • Metadata showing how Instagram users access the mobile app
  • Information on what devices are linked to a specific account
  • Facial recognition details
  • Transactional information from Facebook
  • Geolocation data

Since Instagram gathers voluminous private information from its users, the platform sets guidelines for maintaining user privacy. These account safeguards include the following:

  • Setting your account to private
  • Removing followers
  • Accessing and downloading data
  • Deleting posts
  • Blocking accounts
  • Deleting comments
  • Turning off commenting
  • Muting accounts
  • Restricting accounts
  • Reporting posts

Instagram privacy is essential for personal and business accounts. If you're protecting a personal account, you can choose from the list of privacy options mentioned above. However, when you're a business account holder, you must first assess if setting your account to private can help you achieve your purpose.

To help you decide on this matter, consider these facts.

Most businesses who use Instagram set their account to public. With this, they can reach and impress more people with their content without them hitting the follow button. This also lets users easily screenshot a story or post.

On top of that, their account and content will also remain visible when a user searches for a specific hashtag. All of this helps grow their reach and following.

Recently, some brands started setting their Instagram accounts to private. Aside from keeping their profiles under control, this trend offers a sense of exclusivity to the brand's community of followers.

It also helps the brands gain more followers. Here's how. When followers share a meme with their non-follower friend, they will be curious to know what it is. As a result, they'll most likely follow the private brand account to access the meme.

When does Instagram notify users when someone takes a screenshot?

As a general rule, Instagram doesn't notify app users when another user takes a screenshot of their posts, stories, or direct messages (DMs). However, sending temporary videos or photos through Instagram DMs will notify the message sender if the recipient takes a screenshot.

The same applies if you send messages or content in "vanish mode" and someone takes a screenshot — a notification will be sent.

In the past, the app sent notifications when someone screenshotted your Instagram story. However, they decided to remove this after backlash from some app users.

If you don't like people screenshotting your Instagram posts secretly, it's best to hide them.

On the other hand, if you're the viewer of a video or image, you can save the post without screenshotting it by bookmarking it instead.

How can someone take screenshots without triggering the notification?

Screenshotting of content first became popular with Snapchat. The sender gets notified when a user snags a screenshot of your message or story. Instagram adopted this feature, but only for disappearing messages.

Everything else, from posts to stories and comments, is off the app's radar. You can screenshot all you want without triggering notifications for the original poster. This rule will only change when Instagram decides to update its policies.

One of the benefits of triggering the notification feature once someone screenshots your vanishing message is that there will be fewer instances where someone will use such content against you.

This moral reason behind the rule justifies its existence. However, like other rules, there are workarounds one can follow if one still wants to screenshot vanishing and temporary content on the platform.

Since the app can't prevent every bad thing it wishes to prevent from happening, users should be cautious of the ethical implications of their actions. If you're that user, avoid using screenshots to harass or blackmail the original poster.

While in airplane mode

This method may be slightly inconvenient but simple and effective. You only have to find the disappearing photo or message you want to screenshot. To do this, first, open Instagram. When you locate the message, don't open it yet. Turn your phone into airplane mode. After that, you can now view the photo and take a screenshot.

Via screen recorder

You can easily use this method since there's a slim chance it will trigger the notification feature. Whether you're an Android or iPhone user, you must first download a screen recorder app. Run the app on your phone by following the instructions.

Launch it and turn on the recording mode as soon as you're done installing the app. Open your Instagram account and find the message you want to record. After that, start the recording session, and click save. You can use the recorded clip to grab the photo or content you want to screenshot.

Via the Instagram website

This method requires you to access Instagram through its web version. Go to your DMs and look for the message or content you want to take photos of. Once you find the message, screenshot it. When someone screenshots content from the web browser, Instagram won't notify the sender.

Image by Azamat E on Unsplash

How can you protect your privacy on the platform?

You might get creeped out when you discover you have Instagram followers you don't know. Maintaining your privacy is paramount, considering the amount of personal information and details you share on the platform. The best way to do this is to keep your account private.

This decision is easy to make if you're keeping a personal account. But what if you're running a business account on Instagram?

Businesses can also benefit from protecting their privacy on the platform. First, it will limit its followers to those who genuinely care about its products and services. Second, it will keep competitors from spying on their marketing strategies and product offerings.

Third, it will encourage non-followers to check you out. This fact is especially true if what you share in your exclusive community goes viral. If you want these for your Instagram account, here are a few tips on protecting your privacy.

Disabling connect contacts

This process makes your account hard to find on the platform. To do this, go to account settings and look for "Contacts Syncing." After that, turn off the "Connect Contacts" feature.

Disabling account suggestions

You can also stop the app from suggesting your account to other users. To do this, open your account and go to your Instagram profile. Choose "Edit Profile" and uncheck "Similar Account Suggestions."

Disabling show activity status:

This action determines what people can see when they open your profile. You can do this by going to settings and then looking for "Activity Status" under "Privacy." After that, turn off the "Show Activity Status" feature.

You should have control over your account on any social media platform. It's always a good practice to exercise due diligence before granting a specific app access to your private information, especially when signing up. If you fail to do this beforehand, try to retrace your actions and turn off features you feel will infringe on your privacy.

Pro Tip: If you're anxious that someone screengrabbed your Instagram video or message, you can use the "unsend DM" feature. You must tap and hold the message you intend to erase and choose "unsend." This is the easiest way to protect yourself from the platform's screenshot function.

Keep Yourself Updated To Protect Your Privacy

You already know that Instagram notifies the original poster when you screenshot a brief or vanishing video or photo sent to you. You may feel this violates your rights but look at the reasoning behind the rule. It seeks to prevent the malicious use of content. If you're the sender, you would appreciate knowing what content was saved by whom.

Since Instagram can’t control what every user does on the platform, it’s best to be a responsible and vigilant user. To protect yourself while using Instagram and other social media platforms, make it a habit to read policy updates. With this, you'll know how the app and its users utilize the information you share.

If you want similar information, check out Archive. This app will help you learn more about Instagram and other social media platforms. Apart from that, Archive allows you to repurpose content to grow your reach and engagement. Check it out today!

Be aware of policy updates and learn tips on protecting your privacy while on the platform. Read more about how Archive can help you grow your Instagram following while keeping you safe from unwanted attention.

FAQs About Instagram Screenshots

What does an Instagram screenshot notification look like?

The screenshot notification looks like your regular Instagram notification popup, except it says, "@username took a screenshot of the photo you sent."

Will screenshotting an Instagram reel trigger the notification?

Taking a screenshot of Instagram reels will not trigger the notification feature. However, Instagram changes its policies occasionally, so it's best to keep yourself updated on these future changes.

Can I remotely turn off the screenshot notification?

Unfortunately, there's no way to turn off the screenshot notification feature for another user in your Instagram app. You can only stop triggering this notification by following the steps above.

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