Instagram has recently unveiled a feature that allows anyone to download Reels from public accounts — initially launched in the US in June 2023, is now available globally.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced the availability of the new feature on his broadcast channel. This development is a departure from the previous need for third-party tools or web browser extensions to download Reels. Instagram’s native solution not only simplifies the process but also enhances data security for those downloading these short-form videos.
The process to download a Reel is straightforward and user-friendly. Users can simply tap the Share icon on a Reel and select the Download option. However, it’s important to note that the downloaded Reels will carry a watermark, featuring the creator’s Instagram handle. This is a thoughtful touch, ensuring that content creators receive due credit for their work.
However, this new feature raises concerns about privacy for content creators. By default, all public Instagram profiles have this download feature enabled. But Instagram offers a solution for those who wish to maintain control over their content. Users can opt out of allowing downloads for each of their Reels during the upload process. This is done by accessing the Advanced Settings and disabling the ‘Allow People To Download Your Reels’ option.
For users under the age of 18, Instagram has thoughtfully disabled this feature by default, reflecting the platform’s commitment to safeguarding younger audiences. Additionally, it’s important to note that only new Reels uploaded via a public profile are available for download. Older Reels remain unaffected unless the user opts to make their entire profile public.