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Instagram now allows public Reels downloads

Instagram now lets users download Reels from others to share outside the app. TikTok, a rival short video app, has had this feature for years and gained popularity by having users watch videos with its watermark outside the platform.

Adam Mosseri announced on Tuesday that U.S. users can download Reels to their camera roll. Tap the share icon and select Download.

Mosseri said only public reels can be downloaded. Public accounts can disable Reels downloads.

Mosseri didn’t say if the downloaded Reel would have a watermark, but his picture shows an Instagram logo and account name. TikTok watermarks downloaded videos. Instagram has never watermarked draft Reels.

Instagram stopped promoting videos with TikTok or other watermarks in 2021. To discourage cross-platform sharing, YouTube added a logo-based watermark to downloaded Shorts last August. Instagram’s decision to let users download Reels may be a way to get them to watch more content.

Meta has focused on reels for growth and revenue in recent quarters. Mark Zuckerberg said AI-powered Reels recommendations increased Instagram time by 24% during its Q1 2023 earnings call.

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