Your days of Instagram creeping may soon be over

Instagram has had no problem in re-purposing features that first appeared in Snapchat for its own use, and today is no different in that regard. Instagram has started testing a new feature that alerts users when someone tries to snap a screenshot of the stories they share. Of course, snapping a screenshot goes against the whole "disappearing message" thing, which is one of the key draws of both Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

These notifications are something Snapchat users will already be familiar with. Snapchat has alerted users to viewers snapping screenshots since its inception, and it's a fairly good deterrent against people who would use the service to "creep" on otherwise unsuspecting users. Instagram tells TechCrunch that it's testing this feature among a small number of users.

We don't know when Instagram plans to roll this out on a larger scale, and depending on how the test goes, there's always a chance that a wider launch will never happen. Still, when you consider that screenshot alerts are already available in private direct messages, it seems likely that they'll also make their way into Stories on a wide scale before long.

If you're part of this test and you're used to snapping screenshots as your browse Stories, you'll be given a warning the next time you do it. Instagram won't rat you out the first time you take a screenshot as a subject of this test, instead showing you a notification that says "Next time you take a screenshot or screen recording, the person who posted the story will be able to see it." Instagram doesn't send users individual notifications when someone captures a screenshot of their story, instead pointing that account out in the viewer list for each individual post.

And with that, Instagram further aligns itself with the service Snapchat offers, though in this case, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Since these notifications are a crucial part of Snapchat's hook, it makes sense that we'd see it spread to Instagram Stories eventually. Assuming everything goes well with the test, we'll likely see this roll out on a wide scale soon, so stay tuned for more.