In a recent announcement, Instagram head Adam Mosseri revealed that users worldwide can now download public Reels directly to their devices, marking a significant expansion of the app’s features. This update allows Instagram users to save Reels beyond the confines of the app, a departure from the previous limitation of in-app saving.
Downloaded Reels will bear the distinctive Instagram watermark, featuring the account name, akin to the watermarking style adopted by TikTok. Users can easily access this feature by tapping the share button and selecting the download option. Notably, Instagram users have the flexibility to disable the download option for their Reels through the account settings.
It’s worth mentioning that Reels incorporating licensed audio will not retain the audio when downloaded, providing a measure of copyright protection. This move aligns with Instagram’s commitment to respecting intellectual property rights.
The introduction of the Reels download feature initially unfolded for U.S. users in June. Now, Instagram has decided to make this functionality available to its global user base, reflecting the widespread popularity of short-form video content.
In a broader context, the trend of watermarking has become prevalent in the short-form video space. Instagram’s move follows its decision to cease recommending clips with TikTok watermarks in 2021. Additionally, in August 2022, YouTube introduced a watermark on downloaded Shorts, discouraging cross-platform sharing and reinforcing the distinct identity of each platform.
As Instagram continues to evolve its features to meet user demands and stay competitive in the dynamic social media landscape, the global rollout of the Reels download feature is expected to enhance user engagement and foster creativity among content creators on the platform. Users worldwide can now seamlessly incorporate Instagram Reels into their personal media libraries, contributing to the broader trend of cross-platform content sharing.