Instagram was very nearly called Burbn and was intended as an app for sharing photos, especially ones taken by mobile devices. It took just one day from launch to receive 25,000 members, and today has nearly 1.5 billion users.
The premise of Instagram hasn’t entirely changed and it is still used for sharing photos as well as other media. Over 95 million photos and videos get shared on Instagram every day. In total, more than 40 billion videos and photos have been shared since the launch in 2010.
There are around 30 million amateur content creators who are monetizing their work on Instagram today. And much of this work involves entertaining and immersive video. Sometimes, the content is appealing enough to want to download it for repeat viewing. But, can you do this, and is it allowed?
Can you download a video from Instagram?
Instagram doesn’t seem to want its users downloading videos from their feeds. There is currently no option to do so, and even though there is nothing in the terms of service prohibiting it, it appears Instagram doesn’t really want users downloading other members’ videos.
This is similar across other social media platforms where videos have no direct option for downloading, and YouTube has shut down at least one downloading app.
However, just because there is no built-in download option doesn’t mean you can’t. You can download videos from IG in several different ways depending on what devices you have.
Can Reels and Stories be saved and downloaded?
Instagram has been kind enough to help creators by introducing useful features such as Stories and Reels. Of course, these also help to keep users on the platform longer so it’s not entirely altruistic.
Unfortunately, Stories and Reels are treated similarly to plain video. There is no option to download other members’ Stories or Reels. Yet, you still can.
Below is a brief explanation of how you can download any type of video from Instagram, but it should be noted that you should ideally seek the owner’s permission before doing so.
How can you download an Instagram video?
It could be said that radio was the original social media, and was sharing news and information for nearly 100 years before the internet came along. Now though, video is becoming the most popular form of content, and many people would like to record it for later viewing, or to watch over and over.
Stories on Instagram have a very short shelf-life, so interesting content needs to be grabbed when it can. Downloading it protects it from being deleted, and you can watch it whenever you like.
Use a screen recorder
This first method only works on iOS 11 and above. Android owners currently cannot capture video this way.
Firstly, you will need to customize your controls and add the Screen Recording feature to your swipe-up menu.
Now go to the profile that contains the Reel or video you want to record. Swipe up and turn on screen recording. Then start the video. Once it has finished you can turn off the screen recorder.
All sounds will be recorded as well as the video, and you can use a free editor to trim the movie down.
Use a third-party app
Quicksave, and StorySaver, are just two of many third-party apps that allow videos to be downloaded to Android devices. These make downloading simple and require just a few taps or the video URL to be copied and pasted.
Use a web-app
Similarly, you can go to one of many websites that offer to download Instagram videos for free. You will need the URL of the desired Story, and then you can simply paste it into the web downloader and receive your video.
Can you record a live Instagram video?
Using video is vital if you want to be an Instagram influencer. Live video is becoming increasingly popular, and it can be worth recording other influencers’ videos to learn about presentation and technique, and recording live videos can be done by the methods above.
Using a screen recorder will capture all the video and sounds attached to a live video. On the iPhone, you can use the technique outlined above, but on Android, you will need to download a third-party screen recorder from the Play Store.
Remember to turn off notifications or switch to Do Not Disturb so that your recording is clean and uninterrupted.
Is it illegal to download videos from social media platforms?
While it seems that social media platforms do not like downloading to happen, you are unlikely to get into trouble. YouTube has never sued anyone for downloading, but in the US, copyright law states that making a copy without permission is illegal. This is the same in Europe and the UK too.
However, this is directly related to copyright material which YouTube is full of. Downloading an Instagram video for personal use only and not to be re-shared should present no problems at all.
There are several workarounds for downloading Instagram videos, and they are all straightforward. If you wish to download on a mobile device or PC there is more than one solution.
If you want to be entirely safe when downloading then reach out to the content creator and ask permission. Who knows, they might just send you the video themselves if you explain your motives.