In the week since Instagram announced the addition of live video and disappearing messages, there’s been less focus on the update itself and more on a single, vitally important question: Does Instagram tell someone when you take a screenshot now?

I’ll give you the short answer first, because this is the kind of information you need to know.

Yes, the Instagram update includes an update about screenshot notifications — but only when someone screenshots their disappearing photo. Keep reading.

The notification system will be familiar to anyone who uses Snapchat (i.e., everyone). If you saved someone’s private disappearing photo or video to analyze in a group text later, the sender got a notification about it and is totally aware of your stealthiness. So yes, any screenshots of disappearing photos over the last week have turned out to be rather less stealthy than you may have hoped. But here’s the good news: The important part here is that it only applies to disappearing media. You can still screenshot someone’s regular photos to your stalkerish heart’s content, and they’ll be none the wiser — unless you accidentally include them in the group text about it.

So, trust, there’s no need to panic. Just be smart about what you’re screenshotting.

In case you missed it, Instagram recently launched two new features: Live video, which allows users to stream in real-time to their Instagram Stories, and disappearing messages. To access the live video function, just swipe right from the home screen to get to the Story camera, where the “live” option should be at the bottom of the screen, next to “boomerang” and “normal.” Unlike Facebook Live and Periscope, Instagram Live doesn’t allow replays, so followers have to tune into the stream while it’s happening or miss it entirely.

That leaves the disappearing messages, which are fairly self-explanatory. With the latest update, you can swipe right and send a photo or video through a direct message rather than sharing it to your Story. To keep it “spontaneous and pressure-free,” these messages disappear after they’re seen by the recipient. Once a message is sent, Instagram explains in the Help Center, “you’ll see the conversation as a circle at the top of your inbox,” where its status is displayed. This brings us back to the part that’s freaking everyone out. According to BuzzFeed, if the recipient replays or screenshots the message, the sender gets a notification sent to their phone and within the Instagram app.

So if you plan on partaking in the great art of overanalyzing social media, maybe skip the screenshots and stick to the tried-and-true technique of opening your messages with your best friend looking over your shoulder.


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