Instagram Rolls Out New Features: Reach Global Audience & Download Reels

  • AUTHOR: editor
  • POSTED ON: June 22, 2023

Instagram, one of the widely used social media platforms owned by Meta, has made two significant updates to enhance user experience and engagement.

The company has rolled out its Channels for broadcasting messages feature globally, allowing creators and users to broadcast messages to a wider audience.

Additionally, Instagram now enables users to download Reels, expanding the reach of these short videos beyond the app.

Now Reach Global Audience with Channels Feature

Instagram Channel Feature

Previously available to select creators and users, Instagram’s Channels feature is now accessible to a global audience.

Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on his channel, recommending notable channels such as the International Cricket Council (ICC), director Karen X. Cheng, influencer Michael Le, and artist Daniel Arsham.

Initially launched in February, the Channels feature enables creators to share one-to-many messages with their fans. In May, Instagram introduced support for collaborators on Instagram Channels, allowing for engaging conversations between creators.

This move aimed to strengthen the connection between creators and their followers.

How to Use Channels Feature

To discover relevant channels to join, users can navigate to the Direct Messages (DM) section and explore the “Suggested channels” segment.

Instagram utilizes user interests, interactions with creators, and overall activity on the platform to generate these personalized recommendations.

Alternatively, users can directly search for broadcast channels within the DM section.

Question Prompts, Dedicated Channels & More Tools For Creators

Meta is currently testing additional features, including question prompts for followers and a dedicated channels tab in the inbox.

Additionally, more tools for creators are also being developed, such as the ability to set an expiration date and time for channels, adding moderators to assist with member management, and sharing links or previews to Stories.


Not Just Instagram Channels Feature is Also Available On Whatsapp

It’s worth noting that Meta has recently introduced the Channels feature on WhatsApp as well. However, the purpose of Channels on WhatsApp differs from Instagram’s implementation.

WhatsApp’s Channels primarily serve as a platform for local and global authorities and agencies to connect with people. Initially launched with select partners in Colombia and Singapore, this feature aims to foster communication between authorities and the public.

Now You Can Download Reels on Instagram Just Like TikTok

In another exciting update, Instagram now allows users to download Reels created by other users. This feature has been highly anticipated, as rival short video app TikTok has offered it for years.

TikTok’s success can be attributed, in part, to the ability to watch short videos with the app’s watermark outside the platform. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced this update on his Instagram broadcast channel. U.S.-based users can now download Reels to their camera roll by simply tapping on the share icon and selecting the Download option.

It is important to note that only Reels from public accounts are eligible for download. Public account holders also have the option to disable the download feature if they prefer.

While Mosseri did not explicitly mention whether there would be a watermark on the downloaded Reels, an accompanying image suggests that the downloaded video will display an Instagram logo alongside the account name.

TikTok utilizes a similar format by applying a watermark to downloaded videos. Instagram has always allowed users to download their own Reels without a watermark directly from drafts.

This move by Instagram to allow Reels downloads may serve as a strategic tactic to attract users to engage more with content on the platform. In 2021, Instagram made the decision to stop promoting content with TikTok watermarks or any watermark on its videos.

Similarly, YouTube introduced a logo-based watermark on downloaded Shorts, their short video product, as a means to discourage cross-platform sharing.

By enabling Reels downloads, Instagram aims to facilitate wider distribution of its content, ultimately driving growth and revenue for Meta.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of the Channels feature to a global audience and the ability to download Reels mark a promising step for Instagram.

These updates enhance the platform’s versatility, enabling users to connect with their favourite creators more effectively while expanding the reach of engaging short videos.

As Instagram continues to evolve, users can look forward to even more features and improvements designed to enhance their social media experience.


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Updated June 22, 2023
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