Meta is working on an interesting new update for Instagram, where users can download reels directly within the Instagram app if the account is public. This means that users don’t need to rely on third-party applications or services to download Instagram reels to save offline on their local devices.

Reels have become quite popular since last year. Instagram’s short-form content, called Reels, can be viewed on the Explore tab, Reels tab, or in the user’s profile. This feature was announced by Instagram boss Adam Mosseri, who stated that anyone can download the reels if their Instagram profile is public. It has been live in the US since June 2023, and now this feature is expanding globally.

Anyone can download Reels from an Instagram public account.

It is quite straightforward to download reels from public accounts. However, users have the option to disable the download reels by default for users below 18 years old. Users can also change their privacy settings to prevent anyone from downloading their reels; therefore, there is a privacy issue that can be mitigated by the user’s choice. This feature is native to Instagram and would improve data security for downloading short-form videos. Users don’t need to rely on external apps or websites.

Note: Users can opt out of this feature for each Instagram reel while uploading them. However, this feature will be disabled by default for users below 18 years old.

How to opt out of Instagram and download reels while uploading

Here are the steps to disable the download option for specific reels after uploading, instead of uploading.

  • Open Instagram, then tap on the camera icon appearing on the left side of the feed, or you can also swipe right from the feed.
  • Next, scroll and tap on Reels at the bottom of the screen, and record a video while pressing and holding the capture button.
  • Now you can upload the captured videos. Tap on the Next arrow appearing in the bottom-right corner, and then on the Share screen.
  • Tap on the Settings icon appearing in the right corner. Now tap on turn off the “Allow People to Download Your Reels” option, then tap on Done, and then on Share.

Alternatively, you can change your Instagram account’s privacy settings to prevent users from downloading Instagram reels.

  • Open your Instagram profile, then tap on the menu icon appearing in the top-right corner.
  • Now, tap on Settings and then Privacy.
  • After that, tap on Reels and Remix, after which you have the option to disable it by clicking on the “Allow People to Download Your Reels” option.

Currently, for downloading Instagram reels, there are a lot of third-party tools and web browser extensions available. Even the old reels that users have already uploaded will also be available to download unless you change your account settings or your individual reel settings. Meanwhile, other short-form video platforms like TikTok have disabled the download option for some videos depending on the user’s settings or regional restrictions.

On the other hand, Instagram is also working on generative AI stickers that can be useful to create unique and personalised content for users, which you can use in stories, reels, and feed posts. In addition to this, the Read Receipts options let users disable read receipts in DMs for better privacy and control over conversations.

Furthermore, the Lyrics for Reels feature has been announced to have lyrics for Songs to Reels and also to offer a paid subscription for an ad-free experience. Reportedly, Samsung is also looking to integrate Instagram into One UI 6.0 to offer exclusive features for quick access to reels, filters, and stickers.