Previously, TikTok held a significant upper hand over Instagram Reels, as users could download TikTok videos and share them across different social media networks. This capability helps attract more users to the platform. However, Instagram has now matched this feature, as disclosed by CEO Adam Mosseri in a post, which was picked up by TechCrunch, utilizing the new broadcast channels feature.
Currently, the feature is only accessible to mobile users in the US and exclusively for public accounts, not private ones. Simultaneously, public account holders can opt for a setting that prevents other users from downloading their Reels. The feature can be used by tapping the “Share” icon on a chosen Reel and then selecting “Download.”
An image shared by Mosseri seems to indicate that downloaded Reels will bear the Instagram logo and the account name as a watermark, similar to TikTok’s practice. YouTube has also begun watermarking Shorts videos produced on desktop, presumably to draw more attention to its short video feature.
Like YouTube, Instagram seems to be adopting the same approach, possibly to ensure visibility of Reels on other social media platforms. However, it’s not exactly welcoming content from competitor platforms. The Meta-owned company does permit uploads of TikTok and other videos, but it ceased promoting any watermarked videos from competing platforms back in 2021.