Instagram is now alerting users when other users screenshot their stories

Instagram is now alerting users when other users screenshot their stories

Rosie Hayes

Rosie Hayes
12th February 2018

Instagram is testing alerts notifying users when other users take a screenshot of their stories, enabling the creators to see a shutter icon next to the users who have taken a screenshot within the story views. The company is testing the feature to see if it has an impact on engagement before making it available for all users. 

It is also providing a disclaimer to users who screenshot a story, making the process transparent and understood by all involved parties. Instagram introduced disappearing stories to rival Snapchat, an app focused on ‘in-the-moment’ sharing.

Ephemerality is the unique selling point of Snapchat, and Instagram’s similar stories function, so this new feature is an interesting quasi-paradox. Let’s see whether it could impact your Instagram marketing. 


Perhaps the ability to screenshot stories was a privacy concern for users who previously were not notified.

Data sharing and how it pertains to consent is becoming an increasing concern for companies, with the new GDPR set for May of this year. Instagram’s move is a positive one for transparency and content sharing.


Conversely, the need to improve and diversify is a perpetual concern for all services. Evolving the fleeting concept is understandable, but the incorporation of screenshotting at all is an interesting contradiction in terms and reversion to Instagram’s more durable content offerings. Perhaps unintentionally, this new feature aligns more closely with the brand.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs

For small businesses and entrepreneurs, this new function is another opportunity for audience sharing and personalised interaction.

This facet of the service will allow a new qualitative insight for pages that use stories by providing the account names of those that choose to screenshot, enabling a gateway for potential communication between creators and the people that screenshot and share content.

The best possible outcomes for creators could be the potential for free promotion and reputation improvement through unsponsored citizen-sharing; and the chance to undertake qualitative research due to the consent obtained from those that screenshot.

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