Instagram Unveils Global Reels Download Feature, Aligning with TikTok

Instagram has introduced a new feature enabling users globally to download public Reels directly to their devices. Initially available in the United States, this update is now accessible to iOS and Android users worldwide. It marks a significant shift in how users interact with content on Instagram, aligning with similar functionalities offered by other social media platforms like TikTok.

Key Takeaways

  • Global Availability: The feature to download Instagram Reels is now available worldwide.
  • Similar to TikTok: Instagram’s new feature mirrors TikTok’s download functionality.
  • User-Friendly Access: Downloading is accessible via the share button on public Reels.
  • Watermarked Downloads: Downloaded Reels carry the original poster’s Instagram username watermark.
  • Privacy Settings Control: Users can control their Reels’ downloadability based on account settings.
  • Age Restrictions: Users under 18 have the download feature disabled by default.
  • Customisable Settings: Users can enable or disable downloading for individual Reels or entire accounts.
Instagram Unveils Global Reels Download Feature

Instagram’s New Reels Download Feature

Global Rollout

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that the ability to download Instagram Reels from public accounts is now a global feature. Initially launched in the United States in June, it has since undergone beta testing. It is now available to all Instagram users, regardless of their location.

Functionality and User Experience

The new feature allows users to download Reels directly to their device’s gallery. This functionality is reminiscent of TikTok’s existing download option. On Instagram, the download option is found under the share button of public Reels. To maintain content attribution, these downloaded Reels are watermarked with the original poster’s Instagram username.

Privacy and Accessibility

The update applies to all public Instagram accounts. However, users under 18 have the download feature deactivated by default, with the option to enable it at their discretion. For public accounts, the download settings can be customised for specific posts or the entire account. In contrast, Reels from private accounts remain non-downloadable unless the account’s privacy setting is changed to public.

Managing Download Settings

Instagram has provided options for users to manage their Reels’ download settings. This includes:

  • For Individual Reels: While posting a new Reel, users can access ‘Advanced Settings’ and choose to enable or disable the download option.
  • For Entire Accounts: Account settings allow users to control the downloadability of all their Reels by navigating to ‘Settings and Privacy > Privacy > Reels and Remix.’

Comparison with TikTok

The approach adopted by Instagram closely resembles TikTok’s method, where users can download and share content with similar features like watermarks and audio attribution.

Implications for Content Creators and Users

Benefits for Creators and Users

The ability to download Reels directly offers several advantages:

  • Increased Visibility: Creators’ work can gain more exposure as users share downloaded content across different platforms.
  • Ease of Access: Users can save their favourite content directly, enhancing the user experience.
  • Content Attribution: Watermarks ensure creators receive recognition for their work.

Concerns and Mitigations

While beneficial, there are concerns regarding privacy and unauthorised use of content. To mitigate these, Instagram has:

  • Age-based Restrictions: Users under 18 have the download feature disabled by default.
  • Customisable Settings: Users can control the downloadability of their content, offering a balance between exposure and privacy.


Instagram’s new feature to download public Reels reflects the evolving landscape of social media, where ease of access and content sharing are paramount. It allows users to save and share content seamlessly while respecting creators’ rights through watermarking and customisable privacy settings. This development is a step forward in enhancing user experience and content distribution on social media platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Can Users Download Instagram Reels?

To download a Reel, users should tap the Share icon on a publicly posted Reel. In the share sheet, alongside options like “Add to Story” and “Copy Link,” there will be a “Download” button. The downloaded Reel will include an Instagram watermark and the account username.

Are Downloads Available for Private Instagram Accounts?

No, Reels from private Instagram accounts cannot be downloaded. This feature is restricted to public accounts only. Users with private accounts can keep their Reels undownloadable unless they change their account to public.

Can Users Prevent Their Reels from Being Downloaded?

Yes, users can prevent their Reels from being downloaded. They can make their account private or disable downloads for individual Reels or all Reels in their account settings under ‘Settings and Privacy > Privacy > Reels and Remix’.

Will the Downloaded Reels Include Original Audio?

Downloaded Reels will include original audio only if the specific Reel containing that audio is set to be downloadable. This ensures that audio creators’ preferences regarding the distribution of their work are respected.

What Happens to Reels Downloaded Before a User Changes Their Download Settings?

If a Reel was downloadable at the time of download, changing the settings afterwards does not affect previously downloaded content. Once a Reel is downloaded, it remains in the user’s device gallery with the included watermark and audio.

Instagram Unveils Global Reels Download Feature Aligning With Tiktok

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