Join the discussion: How would you feel about a screenshot alert for text messages (similar to Snapchat)?

One of the reasons Snapchat became so popular was because of the screenshot notification abilities: if someone snapped a screenshot of that raunchy snap you sent, then you'd get an alert letting you know.

With the fast-approaching launch of iOS 11, rumors of similar screenshot features for texts were being tossed around. They're not true, unfortunately, but that got us thinking: is this a function that people actually want?

There were some rumours swirling around that there might be some Snapchat-like screenshot detection features with iOS 11 when it comes to things like text messages... This isn't happening :cant-watch:, but would you like a feature like this? Why or why not?

Cella Lao Rousseau

Hop on into the iMore forums and join the discussion today to let us know if a screenshot feature with messages and texts is a great idea or if you'd take a hard pass!

Join the discussion on the iMore forum!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

  • Considering how untrustworthy some people can be, I highly welcome this feature. It'd save a lot of arguments. The read receipts were a big plus when they started getting added to all the messaging apps, this is the step forward from that
  • So, we'll pretend they can't take a photo of the screen with their iPod? Or that they can't plug it in to Quicktime on a Mac to record the screen? This is a bad feature, someone will be caught once, then take pictures with another device. It's not going to stop this. Beyond that, the old "I'm just backing up my texts before going to a new phone" will be plausible deniability.
  • Well of course they can get round it but the average user won't either know how to do that or be able to do it easily. It's a nice deterrent. Also who backs up their texts like that? You'd be scrolling and taking screenshots for ages…
  • Average users would back them up that way. There are apps that stitch them together. I heard it from many customers when I worked AppleCare. They were deathly afraid of iCloud backup since they didn't know how to free up space, and wouldn't touch iTunes backup because "it deleted my stuff last time" because the "Setup as new phone" scared them more than "Restore from backup". As in, they got their new phone setup at the carrier, who wanted them out asap, so they did "setup as new iPhone" then the customer didn't know to restore from the old backup when they got home. Very common. Beyond that, if I need a text in court, it will make it will make the situation worse. I don't see the benefit really. If someone sends me something "nasty" in iMessage I can always go back and replay constantly. Snapchat is at least more difficult to do that with.
  • I don't think the majority backs up that way, most of my friends just use the iCloud backup. If you need a text in court, chances are the situation is already bad so you're really not making it any worse. I definitely see the benefit of this feature, given myself and close friends have been subject to people taking screenshots of our conversations
  • I hadn't seen many people actually backing up when I was working for Apple. The vast majority of non-techies couldn't grasp iTunes backups, nor "Wait, the carrier set this up, now I have to erase the whole phone to get my old texts back?" And they kept going without old texts. Just watch those stupid "judge" shows, "I don't have those texts because I got a new phone" is common (can't be Android vs iPhone as Android allows for much easier text transfers). A flip side would be to at least show what the screenshot was of. But the devil's advocate would say "if the person has a social disorder, and they're asking for advice from a parent", I see harm in this tbh. Show them the phone, may not work, since they may have a phobia of people touching their phone/be distant. Reading/retyping is a possibility I guess, but why can't they just highlight and copy paste? Isn't that almost screenshotting? Apple would be more neutral if they didn't tell anyone, but didn't allow screenshots from iMessage to be sent. Just last night actually, I screenshotted an iMessage from September to send to the same person, just to say "see you said that in September", but if they got the alert, without "bobbob1016 screenshotted this" they may have thought I screenshotted other things. I realize I ramble and I apologize, but I wouldn't be a fan of this feature, as the non-techies I've interacted with would have issues with it. Go to a BestBuy and see what issues non-techies have with their devices.
  • Well if you're a non-techie who's taking screenshots to backup, then just tell your friend that you're doing that. People don't do backups every 5 seconds anyway, so it's only when you buy another phone when you'd have to deal with this "inconvenience".
  • Yeah, but it would send a few at the start is all. There'd always be that doubt though, since how do you *know* if they're getting a new phone? And at the very least, it should tell them what was screenshot. Since I may need part of the message for something, but I'd leave the "private" stuff alone of course.
  • Well maybe they will show a preview of what was captured. The benefits of this feature outweigh the negatives in my opinion
  • Issue: if someone snapped a screenshot of that raunchy snap you sent,
    Solution: don't send the raunchy snap.
    Issue: someone snaps a screenshot of your text
    Solution: don't text, post, e-mail, skype, I-message stuff you wouldn't want to have to justify, or would be embarrassed by.
  • It's not that simple, what if you're talking to a friend casually, they take a screenshot and send it to their friend who then takes it the wrong way? People read into things, and most of the screenshots that get sent involve people reading into things too much. It's not as easy as saying "Don't text something you don't want seen"