Instagram was built as a mobile-first platform, which means its desktop viewing experience has always felt like something of an afterthought. One thing I have always liked about it, however, is the fact that it prevents simple right click save-as or click-and-drag downloading of photos by default. It’s pretty easy to embed an Instagram photo and disabling downloading really encourages people to do so rather than stealing the photo outright. Recently, however, I have been seeing a number of “life hack” tutorials going around explaining how simple it is to get around that feature.
I’m not going to link directly to any of the step-by-step tutorials (you can find them easily enough if you want to check it out for yourself), but I saw two different versions from two difference sites being shared around my Facebook News Feed today and that’s a bummer.
By now, you should know that putting your photos up online in any capacity opens up the potential for misuse. And I should also state that I’ve always known about this “trick,” and it in no way dissuades me from uploading my photos. But, I do think it’s only fair to tell users that the 1080 x 1080 pixel version of their Instagram photos are pretty easy to get without resorting to screen shots.
In some cases, this could actually come in pretty handy. If a photo gets deleted by accident, for instance and you’re trying to recover it. Luckily, the images aren’t that high-res.