Instagram has finally introduced a feature that allows users to download Reels posted by others, enabling them to share these videos outside of the app.
This move comes years after rival short video app TikTok offered this functionality, attracting users who enjoyed watching short videos with the TikTok watermark beyond the platform.
In an Instagram broadcast on Tuesday, Adam Mosseri, the head of the company, announced that users based in the United States will now have the ability to download Reels directly to their camera roll. To do so, users simply need to tap on the share icon and select the Download option.
Mosseri emphasized that only Reels from public accounts can be downloaded, and furthermore, public accounts have the option to disable the download feature if they choose.
Although Mosseri did not explicitly mention whether downloaded Reels would bear a watermark, the image shared by him suggests that the downloaded videos will display an Instagram logo alongside the account name. It is worth noting that Instagram has always permitted users to download their own Reels from drafts without including a watermark.
In 2021, Instagram implemented a policy of not promoting videos that contain watermarks, including those from TikTok or any other source. Similarly, YouTube introduced a logo-based watermark on downloaded Shorts, their short video product, last August, as a means to discourage cross-platform sharing.
Therefore, Instagram’s decision to allow users to download Reels may be seen as a strategic move to encourage individuals to consume more content directly on their platform.