Watch Out: Instagram Starts Alerting People When You Take a Screenshot

Instagram App on Phone - Lead 2016
Photo: Time Inc Digital Studio; Courtesy

Attention, world: Instagram just made it so much harder to creep. In another update that makes it even more like Snapchat, the app rolled out a feature that allows you to send disappearing photos and videos privately.

To backtrack: Earlier this year in August, Instagram introduced Stories, which allows users to add photos and videos that would only live on their accounts for 24 hours. And in a new feature announced last week, the app now allows you to send moments to select friends—rather than all of your followers—via Instagram Direct. But there’s a catch: Instagram will send out a notification to the poster if you take a screenshot.

Here’s how you send a disappearing photo or video, as explained by Instagram’s blog post: “Swipe right into the camera to take a photo or video, then tap the arrow to send it privately. You can choose a group or create one in just a few taps—and you can also send to individual friends at the same time.”

“Unlike other messages in Direct, these photos and videos disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have seen them," the company explains. "And you’ll see if they replayed it or took a screenshot.”

So, like Snapchat, your friends will get a notification if you save their photo for later, but not on public photos, i.e., pics on their feed or their Instagram Story. The notifications will only appear if you screenshot a moment sent to you via Direct.

This isn't all the new update brings: It also allows you to broadcast live video, like on Facebook. According to Instagram, your friends "may get a notification when you go live so they can tune in."

There you have it: Go forth and screenshot cautiously.

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