Instagram Testing App Clip Feature on iOS for Reels Viewing Without App Download

Instagram is reportedly experimenting with a new feature on iOS, allowing users to watch Reels within the app’s native interface without requiring a full app download. This innovation utilizes App Clips, a feature introduced in 2021 with iOS 14, allowing users to preview specific app features before deciding to install the complete application. Similar to TikTok’s App Clip, this development aims to enhance user engagement by offering a seamless experience for non-users to explore Instagram’s short video content. According to a 9to5Mac report, this App Clip feature is present in Instagram app version 319.0.2, accessible to beta testers through TestFlight. Users can watch Reels, scroll through popular videos, and share content without the need to create an Instagram account, providing a convenient way to explore the platform’s offerings.

Apple defines App Clips as compact segments of an app that offer discoverability at the moment of need, enabling users to complete quick tasks without installing the full application. While App Clips are smaller in size, they still require downloading before use. They can be activated through various methods, such as NFC tags, QR codes, or shared links. After encountering a specific command, users can access the App Clip by tapping the Open button in a bottom drawer, providing a preview of the app’s functionality. This feature serves as a demo or preview, allowing users to test the app before committing to the full download and installation process. Instagram’s adoption of App Clips underscores the industry’s focus on enhancing user accessibility and engagement.

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