Does Instagram Send a Notification When a Screenshot is Taken of a Post or Story?

Does Instagram Send a Notification When a Screenshot is Taken of a Post or Story?
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Heidi Lang

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2021

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You can disable notifications on Instagram, depending on which alerts you don’t want to receive. There are certain Instagram activities, however, that you may want to keep low-key — activities that you don’t want others to know about. When a post or story is not shareable, for example, the only option you have is to take a screenshot. The original owner is typically notified when their post or story is shared but does Instagram also notify them when a screenshot is taken instead?

Does Instagram Send a Notification When a Screenshot is Taken of a Post or Story?

Does Instagram Send a Notification When a Screenshot is Taken of a Post or Story?

Taking screenshots is a widely used option when you want to save interesting stuff to your phone. Perhaps you want to save a recipe for future reference, or you want to share something funny or inspiring with your friends. 

Taking screenshots is sometimes faster and easier than downloading or saving a post or story; screenshots are automatically saved to your phone. Capturing shots of public posts is generally okay; these posts are created for public consumption, anyway. But screenshots may also be a more discreet way to capture the post/story of a private user, and you may wonder if the original owner of the post/story gets notified when somebody takes a screenshot of their content. 

For newsfeed posts, Instagram does not send notifications to the original owner when their photos or videos are captured via screenshots. This applies to both public and private accounts. 

Instagram stories posted by private accounts are often considered “more private” content; a few years ago, Instagram enabled alerts for stories that are captured via screenshots. But the platform eventually removed this feature due to privacy concerns on the part of the screenshot takers; one might argue that the privacy of the original poster should hold more weight, but anybody with a social media account — on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. — should also be well aware that any content they post might be viewed and saved by anyone online. 

The rules are different for direct messages on Instagram. Direct messages are, of course, the most private content, and taking screenshots of these exchanges may be considered a serious breach of privacy. Private chats, whether they’re group chats or only between two people, are supposed to stay private. At the same time, users should know that anything they say in private messages can also be captured via a screenshot and shared with others. 

Instagram’s direct messaging also offers the disappearing content feature; when enabled, all sent messages, including photos and videos, disappear from the inbox after a specified time. When a screenshot of the disappearing content is taken, the sender of the message gets notified. As disappearing content is meant to, well, disappear to better guarantee privacy, notifications for screenshots are meant to discourage users from disregarding the other person’s need for privacy. 

Does Instagram Send a Notification When You Remove A Like?

Removing alike is common practice and is usually done when the heart icon is tapped by accident, i.e., you didn’t mean to like a post. An accidental like is normally no big deal for public posts; you can just remove the like by tapping on the heart icon again. However, when you’re “secretly stalking” somebody on Instagram and you accidentally like one of their posts or, even worse, an old post, is there a way to take it back without letting them know?

Instagram does not notify a user when somebody removes alike on their post. If the user does not have push notifications enabled, then there’s a good chance they’ll miss the initial notification that you hit like, especially if you remove the like right away. If they have push notifications enabled, however, they will see the notification that you liked one of their posts. 

Does Instagram Send a Notification When a Screenshot is Taken of a Post or Story?

If it gives you some consolation, removing the like will also remove the activity path — this means that while the poster will be notified that you liked a post, the notification will not specify which post you liked. When they tap on the notification, they will be taken to their homepage and not to the post that they liked.  

Are There Any Other Options Aside From Taking Screenshots?

Another great thing about screenshots is that you’ll be able to access the captured content any time you want as it is saved on your phone. Even if the original post is deleted, you’ll still have a copy of it. 

There are other ways to save another user’s content. You can bookmark the post to save it to your archive. Just tap on the bookmark icon below the post. Your bookmarked posts are only visible to you and the poster will not be notified that you bookmarked their post. Bookmarking is only available for newsfeed posts, however, and not for stories.  

You can also share the post via direct message so that the content will be essentially saved in your inbox. You can send it to a friend or to yourself. Another way to save a post is to copy and share the link on another social media platform, or copy and save the link to your notepad. 

There are a few downsides to these alternative options. You will only be able to access the “saved” post/s through your Instagram account. And if the original post is deleted, it will no longer be accessible. 

Conclusion

Instagram’s notifications serve the practical purpose of allowing users to keep track of the activities on their accounts. Users, especially those with private accounts, have the freedom to customize which activities they’ll be alerted to, such as new likes, comments, and direct messages. 

Whether an account, post, or story is private or public, all social media users know that their content may be viewed and saved by others with or without them knowing about it and whether they like it or not. Screenshots, in particular, are a common way for people to capture the content they want to save and especially if they don’t want the poster to know that they did it. For now, at least, screenshot notifications are not enabled on Instagram. We strongly advise all users to use this option responsibly.