You could attribute TikTok’s success with the feature of sharing their videos off-platform, allowing users to download the videos watermarked with the account. Meta has now implemented the same feature for Instagram Reels, after its initial announcement back in June 2023 (source: TechCrunch).
Although Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri stated that US-based users would be the first to see it, a timeline wasn’t announced for the rollout to other countries worldwide. It looks like the option is now expanding to more countries worldwide including the Middle East region. How? It just so happens that I was creating a Reel and the pop-up just showed up.
Download and Share Reels
Downloading Reels is as simple as tapping on the share icon and then selecting the Download option.
- Only public accounts have the option to toggle the Download option.
- You can also retroactively toggle it for each previously-published Reel to be downloadable.
All downloaded Reels will have an animated watermark showing the account name in different positions based on the video length.
However, it seems there is a difference between iOS and Android when I tried it with a random Reel from Adobe Video. Anyone who has saved a video from TikTok will have seen that the resoltuion is in SD (540×960 px).
- Downloading via iOS gives a video in HD (720×1280 px) encoded in MPEG4/H.264
- Downloading via Android app gives a video in FullHD (1080x1920px) encoded in HEVC/H.265
It’s not clear why there is such a difference, but this might come down to each platform’s technicalities. Having watch the same video from both devices, they showed no visible loss in quality.
The move is looking to capitalize on the momentum for people to watch more Reels on Instagram natively. Also a great way to complement the recent launch of Threads.
If you’re not seeing the option to download, make sure you’ve updated the Instargam app to the latest version on both iOS and Android.
Header image credit: Alexander Shatov