Instagram rolls out ability to download public Reels globally

Earlier this year, Instagram launched the ability to download publicly viewable Reels – at that time, the access was limited to mobile users in the US (more specifically, those who had public accounts on the photo-sharing platform). Now, the platform has expanded the capability to save Reels from public accounts to the camera roll globally. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, made this announcement on his broadcast channel.

According to Mosseri, the downloaded Reel will include a watermark with the creator’s Instagram handle, as well as the username and an audio attribution. Interested users can click on the Share icon on a Reel and choose the Download option to view it in their gallery. While the new feature introduces added convenience, it concurrently raises pertinent privacy considerations. Mosseri stressed that, by default, Reels from public accounts are downloadable and shareable by anyone on Instagram. However, Instagram has implemented an opt-out mechanism to address potential user privacy concerns, since not everyone may be comfortable with the fact that all users can save reels posted on the platform to their camera rolls.

To be precise, if you have a public account and are under 18 years of age, then the setting for downloading reels will be off by default, and you can turn them on at any time at your discretion. To stop others from downloading and sharing their reels, users need to change their reels download settings. As for private accounts, are not downloadable in the first place unless the user adjusts their account’s privacy setting to public in the first place. In any case, the downloaded reels will include music only if they are scored with original tracks. The audio will be removed if licensed music is used as a background for the reel.

In a nutshell, accounts will have the ability to turn off downloading for their Reels. To turn the download option off, users need to go to Settings, and then go to Privacy. Once they are there, they need to go to Reels and Remix, and tap on the “Allow people to download your Reels” toggle. The move aligns with the prevailing trend observed on platforms like TikTok, where users can download videos for offline viewing. Instagram’s shift towards a more inclusive global approach is evident in its effort to provide users worldwide with the flexibility to save Reels directly to their devices. It also puts Meta’s Instagram on a closer footing with China’s TikTok, which continues to be a popular platform despite being banned in several countries.


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