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Instagram Mimics Snapchat: Users To Get Alerts When Direct Messages Screenshot Is Taken

30 November 2016, 6:30 am EST By Anu Passary Tech Times
An update to Instagram brings yet another Snapchat-like feature to the photo sharing app. Users of Instagram will now get an alert when someone takes a screenshot of their temporary direct message.  ( Carl Court | Getty Images )

Photo-sharing social media platform Instagram is borrowing yet another feature from rival Snapchat. The Facebook-owned service will now alert a user when someone takes a screenshot of their direct messages.

That's right! This is no rumor and the change implemented by Instagram was first spotted by user Travis who goes by the Twitter handle @travlim. He shared the screenshot of an Instagram alert, which confirmed the user's assertions.

However, those worried that Instagram will now tattle on their clandestine activities — the alert for screenshots is not applicable to everything. Instagram will only send an alert to the user if someone tries to take a screenshot of a private temporary video or photo (a temporary direct message) they have sent via Instagram Direct. So if someone takes a screenshot of a user's general feed, Instagram will not offer an alert for the same.

Sounds familiar? No surprise if it does as Instagram rival Snapchat currently sends its users screenshot notifications. When anyone attempts to save an image through a screenshot, Snapchat basically notifies the user who sent the snap.

It seems that Instagram has yet again taken inspiration from Snapchat and implemented this update for Instagram Direct so that a user does not permanently capture what is meant to be a fleeting moment.

Earlier in November, Instagram was updated so that a user could send videos and photos that have a time window as part of the ephemeral Instagram Stories. This feature enabled a user to share media which was viewable only two times before it vanished permanently.

Instagram Stories also got updated to include three new features — Boomerang integration, tagging and URL links — in November. These functionalities can also be added to a temporary story, which will vanish automatically in 24 hours.

The new feature which sends an alert when someone takes a screenshot of the temporary direct message has reportedly been spotted for the iOS app of Instagram but not Android. However, the latest iOS app for Instagram does not mention the screenshot capabilities.

A spokesperson from Instagram has acknowledged the update's arrival to publication IBTimes and it seems that the rollout is in the test phase.

"In the latest version of Direct, you can send disappearing photos and videos to individuals and groups of friends. When someone screenshots your disappearing photo or video, you will get a notification," revealed the Instagram spokesperson.

Whether the screenshot alerts will continue to be restricted for temporary private messages or ultimately expand its reach remains to be seen.

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