Instagram Experimenting With a Way to View Reels Without Downloading the App; Here’s How

  • Instagram is working on its App Clip version to watch Reels without the need for an app.
  • The App Clip for Instagram was found in version 319.0.2 and is accessible to beta testers via TestFlight.

Instagram is reportedly tinkering with a new iOS feature, allowing users to watch Reels without downloading the entire app. The social media giant is leveraging Apple’s App Clips, which was introduced in the iOS 14 update in 2021.

Instagram App Clip: What This Means?

As per a 9To5Mac report, the App Clip for Instagram (similar to TikTok’s App Clip) was spotted in version 319.0.2, available to beta testers via TestFlight. This means beta users can now watch Reels in the app’s native UI instead of on the browser without downloading the Instagram app.

This essentially means that if a friend shares a Reel link in iMessage, it can be viewed seamlessly without needing an Instagram account. The App Clip will offer a Reels experience where users can watch videos, scroll through popular content, and share it. However, it is said that users will be prompted to download the app after seeing the sixth Reel.

For those who don’t know, the App Clips feature serves as quick previews, letting users try out a specific feature before committing to the full app. But these are just like mini apps, which still need downloading. The difference is that they are really small in size.

App Clips can be triggered through NFC tags, QR codes, and shared links. Tapping on it opens a drawer at the bottom, showing the app’s name and an ‘Open’ button, leading to a full-screen App Clip. These are demos or previews, letting users test an app before downloading.

This move by Instagram to try out App Clips could mean a more straightforward way for users to check out Reels without cluttering their phones with the whole app. Plus, it could help people test out watching Reels first. However, proper details are still unavailable and there’s no information about when this feature will be available to the public.