Ephemeral Instagram Stories can be preserved by being screenshotted, but the app will now show users who took a screengrab of their story, according to multiple reports. It seems that Instagram is testing a new feature that lets users see who took a screenshot or screen recording of what they posted via Instagram Stories by accessing the list of their viewers. Those who took a screenshot now have a new icon resembling a sun next to their name. It’s a subtle change and users will still not receive any notifications when someone takes a screenshot of what they posted, as they can only learn this information by looking at the list of story viewers and searching for the new icon. The existing version of the functionality doesn’t differentiate between users who took a screenshot from those who opted for recording (a portion of) a story.
At the same time, Instagram is also alerting users that if they take a screenshot or screen recording of a story, their actions will no longer be private. The notice states that the user who posted the story will be able to see who took a screenshot, thus possibly making some people think twice about it. However, Instagram will only display this notice on the first opportunity you screenshot something following the new update. The test likely aims to determine whether the functionality would affect how users share and view Instagram Stories. If it has no major negative impacts, the feature should roll out to all users soon enough. Granted, there are still workarounds to avoid being detected when screenshotting someone’s story on any smartphone or tablet.
For instance, setting the device in flight mode after the content is loaded allows users to take screenshots privately and the user who posted the content will have no way of knowing. Alternately, users can also download Instagram Stories from the web version of the app which doesn’t support the same feature. The new test functionality follows another recent Instagram update which added an activity status that tells users when others were last logged into the app. The addition received mixed reactions, having been criticized by some as negatively affecting their online privacy.