If there’s one thing that we haven’t still overcome in our growing obsession with social media, it’s the lack of permanence and ownership over the content that we share and see. This is why users are always wondering if they can download images and videos from Instagram to keep for themselves. Unsurprisingly, they’re asking the same exact things on other media-rich platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. Today, Appamatix is covering the subject thoroughly; we’ll explore Instagram’s video situation, and determine for certain whether you’re able to download them, or not. Other social media entities are fair game, too. Before we’re done, you’ll know why there’s a difference between videos on Facebook and Instagram and videos shared on Snapchat. If you’re interested in more information as well as handy resources, carry on!
While “the feed” on every social media platform is usually going to be brimming with media, it’s never been so prevalent as it is on Instagram. Though captions and comments are certainly important, the meat and potatoes of the entire service is based upon images and videos, feasts for the eyes that are all competing for your lasting attention. Instagram has even urged interested, social-media-savvy businesses to change the entire way that they advertise. They now seek out image-heavy links to share and videos that are expertly cut and arranged to create an engaging experience.
Instagram may not be the game-changer that Facebook was, but we can forgive it for that–primarily because Instagram is owned by Facebook, and has been for several years. It has still helped to shape the way that we record and broadcast our lives, and also the ways that we choose to broadcast it. If Facebook is the social media feed that represents the wide world, then Instagram is its intimate counterpart, full of content that’s bee curated based on who you’re following and what you’re interested in.
It follows suit that if visual media is what rules Instagram, its users are sometimes going to become particularly attached to it. So much so that they’ll find themselves wanting to download and save images and videos, which isn’t actually a difficult task to perform. However, it does carry with it some caveats that all Instagram users should be aware of. Since Instagram doesn’t allow you to save any content from its services through the app or website, you’re going to have to circumvent the rules that the social media giant has in place, which means, by default, that you need to tread carefully.
Let’s get the fishy stuff out of the way first, so that you’ll know, right off the bat, what you can and can’t do with the content that you save from Instagram. Because it’s become such a commonplace to download whatever we want to from the internet, many people assume that “anything goes” on services like Instagram, and that if a picture is up for the world to see on Instagram, it’s fair game for you to do anything that you want with it. The same is often assumed about videos, but we’ll need to halt that train of thought right there.
Taking anything off of Instagram without the original user’s permission is technically an act of digital copyright infringement. Even with the original poster’s permission, you would want to have it recorded in some way, shape or form. As you might assume after hearing that, taking content off of Instagram can be a decidedly bad idea, but that mostly depends on what you want to do with it.
Obviously, redistributing a photo or video that you’ve obtained without permission is going to land you in hot water very quickly. Though digital copyright laws are the same for everyone, that hot water will reach a boil in a heartbeat if you happen to do this to a celebrity, artist, or other well-known groups.
At Appamatix, we’re not in the business of telling you what to do with the information and tools that we write about, but here is some advice that you should absolutely follow if you ever take anything off of Instagram (or any other social media site, for that matter.)
- Do not, under any circumstances, distribute Instagram content (videos or images) elsewhere online, through email or otherwise. Linking to Instagram posts is acceptable, but only if you link directly to the post on a given user’s Instagram feed.
- Do not become a hoarder of Instagram content! Like many other social media outlets, the media on them is constantly evolving, changing, being removed, and being replaced. This is why we make analogies between social media platforms and living organisms–they grow! If you become too accustomed to committing copyright infringement by taking content from Instagram, you’re going to get yourself in trouble.
- Obtain the original poster’s permission before downloading anything, if you’re able. Sometimes, this will mean that you don’t even have to download the image or video from Instagram; the user might be able to send it to you directly.
Instagram takes its users’ safety very seriously, and for this reason, don’t expect to get away with any form of distribution when you’ve lifted something from Instagram. While your own intentions might be harmless, there are many people in the world who would exploit such techniques for malicious ends, and it’s precisely this type of behavior that Instagram is interested in combatting.
Download Instagram Videos
With the above precautions at the front of your mind, you’re ready to try your hand at downloading videos.
Remember: Do not distribute any videos that you download from Instagram, or by any means claim that they’re your own. Lifting content with any intent to use it without permission is an act of copyright infringement. It is illegal. Any services that you use to do this should be used responsibly.
In addition to the legal caution that you should always keep in mind when downloading content from Instagram, you also have to take into consideration the ramifications of using third-party apps, websites, and software. When you use Instagram, you can generally trust in the platforms security to keep your content safe. It’s owned by Facebook, after all.
When you’re using a third-party resource, that safety net is usually going to be very much absent, meaning that it’s possible for your own security to be compromised. Additionally, since you’re dealing with someone else’s Instagram content, it becomes possible for those videos and images that you’re downloading to be accessed by others.
You can see how personal privacy and safety concern can spiral somewhat out of control, in situations like this.
It’s why finding resources that are reliable is that much more important. The website Download Videos From features a suite of tools that help you to access media content on a variety of social media platforms–Instagram included. All that you’ll need is the URL of the content that you want to access, and some knowledge of output formats. I would recommend leaving it at the default setting of MP4, in order to achieve a video file that’s close in quality to the source.
Once you’ve input the correct URL, the website will create a downloadable file that you can save anywhere you’d like on your computer. Simply select Download to bring up the “Save As” prompt. After that, you’re finished! It’s a tried-and-true method (literally, I just did it while typing this) that lets you cultivate media from any Instagram post that you’d like to, barring those that are protected by a user’s privacy settings.
Be sure to store any files that you download on a place that they won’t be shared from. Case in point, you’ll probably want to avoid keeping them in a Dropbox or Google Drive folder, since the cloud syncing functions of those services make media especially vulnerable to distribution. In all situations, it’s best to keep your downloaded Instagram media in a place where only you can access it.
Since third-party extensions and apps can be such a risky business, especially those designed to circumvent the restrictions put in place by a social media app, I cannot recommend using any of the solutions that you might find in either the Google Play or iOS app stores. While some of them might be functional today, these types of apps are frequently taken down due to the ways that they flagrantly violate security settings. One need only look to the many times that third-party services have been hacked, if you need a precaution. “The Snappening,” if you recall it, wasn’t the result of a lapse in Snapchat security; it was the result of a third-party program that let users download Snaps being hacked.
In any case, tread carefully when you’re using any service to download content from Instagram, or any other social media service. The videos and images that you keep might be of special significance to you, but as far as digital copyright law is concerned, they’re always going to belong to the people that originally posted them!