Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced the global rollout of a feature allowing users to download Reels from public accounts directly to their devices. This feature, mirroring a similar function on TikTok, was first introduced in the United States in June and has now been expanded worldwide for both iOS and Android users.
According to Mosseri, users can access the download option by tapping the share button on a Reel. The downloaded content will include a watermark of the original poster’s Instagram username, a move aimed at protecting creators’ rights. This watermarking tactic follows a trend also adopted by other platforms like YouTube, which began watermarking downloaded Shorts in August 2022 to discourage cross-platform sharing.
The feature’s utility is somewhat limited, as it does not support the download of Reels using licensed audio clips. Only those with original audio will retain sound in the downloaded version. Moreover, public account holders have the option to disable downloading of their Reels through their privacy settings, offering an additional layer of content control.
Mosseri highlighted that this feature enhances the user experience by allowing offline viewing of Reels, a popular content format on the platform. The decision to roll out this feature globally follows the discontinuation of Instagram’s recommendation of clips with watermarks from other platforms like TikTok in 2021.
In related news, Instagram, owned by Meta, also introduced a feature earlier this month enabling users to share posts and Reels exclusively with their ‘Close Friends’ list. This feature, announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, adds an extra layer of privacy and personalization to the platform, allowing users to select a more intimate audience for their content.