Instagram Now Lets You Download Reels From Public Accounts: How To Do It

Instagram users now have the ability to download Reels from the feed for offline viewing or sharing outside the app. The site’s biggest competitor, TikTok, has long allowed its users to download publicly-posted videos, which has played a huge part in expanding its influence. Users can’t just download any video, though; there are protections in place to prevent people from saving videos shared by minors or from private accounts.

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Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced the long-awaited feature in a post shared to his broadcast channel. Downloads will be available for public Reels only, and account holders can change their settings at any time if they decide they no longer want strangers to be able to save their videos. To download a Reel from Instagram, users just need to tap the ‘Share’ icon beneath that video, and they’ll now see ‘Download’ as an option in the popup menu. Tap ‘Download’ and the video will be saved to the device’s gallery.

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Limitations & How To Enable/Disable Downloads

A screenshot of Instagram Reel's sharing menu, showing the download option

So far, the option to download Reels is only available in the U.S. Downloads will only work for videos posted by public accounts who have opted-in to the feature. Users may need to update to the latest version of the app to see the change. At the moment, the feature is toggled off by default, meaning those who wish to make their Reels downloadable will need to go into their settings and enable it. If at any time they change their minds, it can always be disabled again later.

To turn downloads on or off for Reels, users should head to their profile and open the menu in the top right corner. From there, tap ‘Settings and privacy’ followed by ‘Sharing and remixes.’ Once that menu is open, users will have to scroll down until they see ‘Allow people to download your reels.’ Then, tap the toggle switch to turn it on, and the button will become blue. To turn it off, just tap that same button, and it’ll shift to the off position and turn gray.

With each update, Instagram’s Reels becomes more and more like its competitor, TikTok. Almost all videos shared on Instagram now appear as Reels, which are displayed as full-screen videos and have a suite of creative editing options. Instagram users can even remix each other’s Reels to include clips or audio from other user’s videos in their own, mirroring the viral TikTok format.

Source: Adam Mosseri/Instagram

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