Instagram Stories is a great way for users to share temporary content, announcements, visual montages, and collections of images with followers, without the permanence of uploading standard posts to one’s Insta profile. Super fun filters can adorn your hair with rings of virtual flowers, and amusing animal-faced morphing happens on the reg — just because you really need to upload yourself with a puppy face right now. And now you can do it with even more freedom, because reportedly Instagram Stories screenshot notification feature has stopped testing, and you'll be able to screenshot your 'gramming heart away without consequences. (Bustle reached out out to Instagram about the reports that the feature is no longer testing, and will update upon response.)
In February, Instagram confirmed it was testing a feature that let users know when their Instagram Stories had been screenshotted. In a major win for Instagrammers who love to scroll (dare I say lurk?) incognito, the wildly popular social media platform will no longer test this feature, the app confirmed to BuzzFeed. While the Stories screenshot notification was never rolled out en masse, you’ll be happy to know that it seems pretty safe that it never will be.
I mean, Stories are meant to be a fleeting thing, and indeed, that’s part of their ephemeral charm. But sometimes, you just gotta grab that screenshot of your crush, amirite? Regardless, Gizmodo notes that the Instagram Stories screenshot notification was a riff on a similar Snapchat feature, which lets users know when someone snags a screenshot from their Stories — as both platforms offer a Stories feature which lasts a mere 24 hours, screenshots are a super popular way to save and share those images; either for sentimental reasons, throwing a wee bit of shade privately with your best friend, or just because. On both platforms, users can see who viewed their content, screenshotting notwithstanding, and, in all fairness, some users liked that their temporary Stories content would more likely remain, well, temporary.
Reps for Instagram told Gizmodo at the start of the screenshot notification’s test, “We 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.” Gizmodo further notes that the feature alerted Story creators about screengrabs via a notification that someone screen-snagged the post, along with the name of that person next to a little camera icon. Busted.
Bustle reported last winter that the screenshot alert feature sent a notification to users upon their first screenshot, warning them that, with a second screenshot, the Story’s creator gets a heads up. And given the ensuing panic on Twitter at the time, it would seem that most of us are, at least sometimes, rather sneaky little social media browsers. Insta users last February were so worried in the advent of such exposure that Redmond Pie developed and posted some tips on how to dodge the alerts on its website — like putting your phone on airplane mode before furtively screenshotting, for instance, or downloading apps like Story Reposter, or taking shots from the web platform instead of the mobile app. I mean, seriously: is this what we’ve become? In a nutshell, absolutely and yes. It is truly a testament to humankind just what lengths we'll go to in order to stop our light stalking from getting put on blast.
So let’s breathe a collective sigh of relief as Instagram allows us to return to our secretive screenshotting ways without the least bit of fear that we're in the test group about to get exposed. Go, be free, fellow 'grammers — You are free to anonymously screenshot Rihanna's Stories to your little heart’s content, notification-free.