I’m not very good about updating my apps with any sort of timeliness, but a new version of Instagram came out last week, and by Friday night it was on my phone. That’s when the chaos began. The real root of the problem is that Instagram Stories does a very particular zoom and crop to any image you upload. Meaning it’s best if you take any photos you want to upload to your Story using the camera in the Instagram app. (Well played, IG. I see you boosting those “time spent in app” numbers.)
Unlike the iPhone camera, where photos are automatically saved to your camera roll, in Instagram you have to save each photo individually. It’s something I’d gotten in the habit of doing. Snap a photo. Tap the save icon — a downward arrow over a horizontal line — in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. Repeat several times and then assess which photo is worthy of editing and posting. Except — and here’s the chaos bit — the icon moved in the last update. Now, if you do what you’ve always done and tap the lower left-hand corner after taking you photo … you’re posting it directly to your story. Which, uh, could be very bad!
The first time I goofed, I realized immediately. When you save an image Instagram flashes “Saved” across your screen. I hustled into my story and deleted the mistakenly posted image. (About three people had seen it before I could get there.) Okay, I told myself, you just have to remember that it’s different now and not do that again. That sounded simple enough, except I’ve since screwed up the same thing a half dozen more times. (Sorry to anybody who tapped through three pictures of latkes frying on Sunday. I really only meant to post one.)
As with all app updates, it’s going to take a hot minute to retrain my brain not to do this. But hopefully, with this PSA, you can avoid any potential embarrassment. Once more for the people in the back: If you tap the button in the lower left-hand corner of Instagram Stories, you are posting publicly. Stay safe, friends.