Instagram made headlines earlier in 2018 when it released a new screenshot-based feature that many users were not comfortable with.
Instagram Removes The Controversial Screenshot Feature
Instagram was testing a new feature that alerted users when someone else took a screenshot of their content. The alert included the name of the user who took the screenshot.
On June 14, Instagram revealed to BuzzFeed that it has officially ended the testing of the feature. The conclusion is that no one will ever receive these special alerts again unless Instagram brings it back.
The Feature Began In February
The screenshot feature, which launched in February 2018, was inspired by a similar feature on Snapchat where users are alerted about screenshots of their content.
"[W]e are always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you," Instagram said in February.
The odd part about the screenshot test was that it was only available to a small cluster of users, but there was no way to know which users had it. Someone's friend could have had the feature and the user would be unaware of it. This prospect scared some users from taking screenshots of content.
"Next time you take a screenshot or screen recording, the person who posted the story will be able to see it," Instagram notified users in a popup.
Participating users in the test could view which users took a screenshot in a special section under the list of story users. A special camera shutter logo appeared next to a user's name, which meant that this person took a screenshot. The user also received a notification that their content was captured via screenshot.
What Does This Mean For Instagram Users?
Although the feature is now gone, users will still be notified when someone captures a disappearing photo or a video in a direct message.
The interesting part is that there is a way to avoid being detected. When a user sets their phone to airplane mode and captures a screenshot, the system does not detect it. Another workaround is to simply use the screenshot tool on a desktop.
During the test period, some users turned to an app called Story Reposter. The app was able to capture screenshots without giving any alerts. The cool feature about Story Reposter was that users can share content on other social media networks as well.