Stories are some of the best parts of Instagram. They are practically an art form all their own, with tons of cool ways to make them uniquely you. One of the most exciting parts of Instagram stories is that they are fleeting — if you don’t catch a story update within 24 hours of it being posted, then it is gone for good. But then comes the problem, what do you do when you love someone’s story post so much that you want to have it saved forever? There is a chance that the person that posted the story will archive it, and if you are familiar enough with them to ask, they might be able to send you the archive of the story.
However, that leaves too much out of your control. There is a similar concern with Instagram posts as well. Yes, those stick around forever unless they are deleted, but what if you want to have a post saved in case someone deletes it later. Plus, it can be a pain in the butt to try and track down a specific Instagram post if it was more than a couple of days ago. It would be so much easier if you can save it and look back on them later. Therefore, the only way to be sure that you are going to be able to see a story update for as long as you like and to keep all your favorite posts easily accessible is to screen capture them
Screencapture and Screenshots
Since the vast majority of Instagram users access Instagram through the app — which is a smart idea since Insta is optimized heavily in favor of app use — the most common way for you to screen capture is something most people are already familiar with: a screenshot. You can get apps and third-party software that allows you to record a video of what’s happening on your phone screen. These would be useful if you are trying to record a story update that is in a video format, but that is a discussion for another time.
A similar thing can be said for the Instagram desktop client. Most modern computers are either capable of obtaining software or have it built-in that allows them to capture an image of what is happening on the screen. Screen recording is also possible for moderately powerful setups to capture a full video of what is going on. More on this later, though.
So, in short, you can pretty easily save your favorite Instagram story updates with little to no cost but the data and time needed to download some apps or take a picture. However, there lies an underlying concern: What if the person finds out that you screen-captured their story or post?
The Story feature of Instagram was inspired by Snapchat Stories.
Why Is That a Concern at All?
If you aren’t familiar with Instagram’s history, stories were not always a part of Instagram. It was a feature that was kind of appropriated from another popular social media app, Snapchat. Snapchat has the story function in general, but all forms of media on Snapchat is on a timer and will go away after a short while. It’s a novel concept, but there is a little bit of baggage that comes with it.
Since everything is fleeting on Snapchat, people are more willing to use it as a way to exchange sensitive information. However, people wanted to save some of the things they were seeing for good, whether or not they were sensitive pictures, and started screenshotting them. The people that sent those pictures, as you can imagine, were not happy to discover this, so Snapchat developed a feature where people got an alert if someone took a screenshot of any of their posts.
It’s considered incredibly rude to take a screenshot of someone’s Snapchat messages or stories, regardless of the content in them. It has become its own sort of cultural taboo in the age of social media. So, people that are familiar with the Snapchat platform are often worried about having a similar stigma in place for other social media platforms. The fact that Instagram stories are so similar to Snapchat amplifies this anxiety even further.
Does Instagram Send People Notifications When You Screen Capture?
In a word: no. There is a bit more to it than that, though, if you are interested in finding out. A little while after Instagram implemented the stories feature, it announced a plan to implement a similar feature to Snapchat where users would be able to see if someone took a screenshot during their story. It would not be a full-blown notification thought. There would just be a little star next to someone’s icon when a user pulled up the list of people that saw their story.
Instagram implemented this feature in early 2018, but it quickly drew a bunch of negative attention. As it would turn out, Instagram users were less worried about people screen capturing the content they posted — perhaps because it was not as sensitive or private. Despite it being easy to ignore if you wanted to and there not being a real downside to the inclusion, the Instagram community was incredibly vocal about wanting the feature removed. It is entirely possible there were some anxious motivations, people being worried that it would be hard to snoop on other accounts and wanting to be removed from the Snapchat model.
By the end of 2018, Instagram removed the notification of your story being screenshotted, and as of yet, it has remained off the platform with no signs of returning. However, the fact that it existed shows that Insta has the ability to track that data. Posts are a similar case but with much fewer complications. Instagram has never had the ability to notify you if your posts have been screen-captured.
Not all of Instagram’s features on phones are available on its desktop client.
A Note on the Desktop Client
Since Instagram is so devoted to the mobile app version, the developers often neglect the desktop client a bit. Weirdly, this works to the benefit of people wanting to be sneaky on Instagram, because the desktop client probably doesn’t even have the ability to know when you screen capture anything on the platform. If you are reading this, you are probably concerned with your activity visibility on Insta, so you might also be interested in learning some ways to covertly watch Instagram stories.