Instagram has taken another page from Snapchat's playbook.
When you receive a snap (photo or video message) or watch someone's story (a 24-hour reel of broadcasted snaps) in Snapchat, and then take a screenshot of that snap or story, the person who sent the snap or posted the story will receive an alert that you took a screenshot.
Now Instagram is doing the same thing, but it's not exactly clear why.
The app will now alert users when someone has taken a screenshot of a photo or video that's part of an Instagram story. Remember, Instagram Stories is Instagram’s version of Snapchat's Stories. Videos, photos, and Boomerangs can be added to Instagram Stories, and they will disappear after 24 hours, just like snaps do in Snapchat's Stories feature.
So, if you're months-deep into someone’s IG grid and screenshot a gram of his or her selfie, they won’t know. But if you screenshot a person’s story on Instagram, he or she will know. Instagram has quietly rolled out this feature without any explanation, and it's a little perplexing. You see, Snapchat alerts you of screenshots because it essentially wants to keep the app ephemeral in nature.
INSTAGRAM GOT SCREENSHOT NOTIFICATIONS NOW pic.twitter.com/Hlng1F4uKH— anna (@nutellaANDpizza) November 24, 2016
Snapchatters may be hesitant to screenshot because of alerts, and so they will let snaps self-destruct instead. But now it seems Instagram - which has never been about letting users share ephemeral moments, but rather keep a visual, filter-heavy catalogue of their adventures over the years - also doesn't want you capturing what was never meant to live beyond a 24-hour period.