As you know from our previous blogs, we love Instagram stories! They are a great extension of Instagram for sharing live video, promotions, sequential content, and more. This “story” feature is part of pretty much any social media platform, and is in high demand with engagement numbers that are very high.

One of the benefits of stories is that they only last for 24 hours, so they won’t always be available for users to view like Instagram content. This temporary nature of the stories is attractive for various reasons, and can be used in a wide variety of ways, as well as give a more personal and intimate feel as it documents more of the day-to-day life of a brand or a persona.

This feature came after the popular app, Snapchat, had a lot of success and popularity with this type of sharing feature. The only way you could have a memory of these disappearing stories is to take a screenshot on your phone. One difference between Instagram and Snapchat, however, was that Snapchat would alert a user if you screenshotted their story. Instagram did not. BUT! Now in the works, Instagram will send you notifications as well when someone screenshots your story. This feature will begin testing this week, and it will sometimes alert users when you screenshot their story.

So What?

This warning may dash some hopes of those folks out there who like to do their lurking in private, without leaving a trace. And of course, those who don’t care about sending notifications, wouldn’t be affected and could continue to screenshot normally. But, as the story feature was meant to be something with a type of disposable and temporary nature, setting a warning is basically Instagram’s only way of trying to control users from capturing another story and doing with it what they will.

As the screenshot feature on phones cannot be controlled by the platform, there is not really many options for controlling this type of activity. Setting a warning for screenshots gives more transparency to the platform. While this really wouldn’t affect those of you using Instagram for merely business reasons, it could be quite a change for some people in their personal viewing habits.

Positives?

One thing this feature can do, however, is let us know how many people are trying to remember our content. For example, if you’re posting some offers or promotions on IG stories, and you get a lot of screenshots, it could let you know that this type of information is something that people want to remember, and perhaps you could incorporate it into further content. Another trend that we’ve noticed is that companies or brands will deliberately ASK their followers to screenshot– they will put a photo, or a wallpaper, and tell their followers to hold down on the screen and take a screenshot to use as their background or to send to a friend. This type of interactive content is now much more trackable, and you can see how well your engagement is performing with these types of active posts. It can actually be quite valuable in this sense.

A (screenshot!) example from @bathandbodyworks using active stories to engage followers. It’s a really great marketing and engagement tool!

Do you support the screenshot warning? Let us know in the comments!