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What Is Instagram Reels and Can It Compete With TikTok?

Are you already sharing photos and videos on Instagram? If so, you should check out Instagram Reels. And as Reels is integrated into Instagram, you don’t even need to download a new app to do so.

In this article, we explain what Instagram Reels is, offer a few tips to help you get started, and explore whether Instagram Reels can compete with TikTok.

What Is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is Instagram’s attempt to take on the behemoth that is TikTok. Reels gives you a new option for Instagram’s camera. You can now record and edit short videos of up to 15 seconds. On top of that, you can add Instagram’s music and effects to your new reel.

For those familiar with TikTok, you can see the obvious similarities. For those unfamiliar, get up to speed by reading our article explaining what TikTok is and how it works.

How to Start Using Instagram Reels

Since Instagram Reels isn’t a separate download like other apps, getting to it is quite easy. After opening the Instagram app, there are two easy ways to access Reels.

  • In the top-left corner, tap on the Camera icon.
  • Press the Your Story icon.
  • Swipe right from anywhere in your feed. Press Camera at the bottom.

Any of these options will bring up Instagram’s camera. Now, look at the bottom of your screen for the Reels text. Swipe right to highlight the Reels text and bring up its interface.

Setting Up for Your Video

Since Reels comes with regular Instagram, anyone who has posted a story or hosted an Instagram live stream should recognize at least part of the interface. The top three buttons (settings, flashlight, exit) and the camera view button in the bottom right function as usual.

Prior to recording anything, there are a few options available via the tool menu on the left. These let you do the following:

  • The musical note lets you search, look at recommended music, and browse categories to include in your video. You can include what part of the song to play (with a lyric overlay to help you choose).
  • A speed button allows you to slow down or speed up your reel. This impacts both the video and audio.
  • The smiley face offers different camera effects. You can scroll through the list to find your most desired.
  • Finally, a stopwatch lets you set the duration of your next clip. When you press the Reel’s record button (which resembles a clapperboard), you’ll see a countdown indicating it’s in effect.

After you record your first Reels clip, you’ll also see an align button. This lets you use a transparent photo of your last clip to help you align before the next recording. Once you’re familiar with these, you can start recording your video.

Recording Your Instagram Reels Video

Once you’re comfortable with the tool selection, it’s time to record your first Instagram Reels video. Simply tap the Reels button at the center of your screen to begin recording.

If you tap and hold, the clip will cease recording once you lift your finger. If you just tap, Reels will record until you tap again.

Just remember that you don’t have to record all 15 seconds at once. The progress bar at the top of your screen shows how far you ar towards the 15-second duration. You can always shoot short clips and use the align tool to help splice it together.

In addition, you can also pull any pre-recorded video from your phone’s gallery in the bottom left and use it. If it’s over 15 seconds, you’ll have to trim it to fit.

Editing Your Instagram Reels Video

Once you have recorded a clip, it’s time to begin editing your footage. The first thing you’ll notice is a left and right arrow icon appears around the Reels recording button. Both offer different editing options and function best at different stages of recording.

Trim, Watch, or Delete Edits

If you tap the left button, you get access to more in-process edits. Here you can preview, trim, or delete the last clip you recorded. If you clip the scissors icon, you’ll bring up to the option to trim.

At the bottom of the next screen, there’s a bar that’s capable of adjusting the entire clip’s duration. As you adjust the bar, the preview video playing on this screen will update. Tap Trim in the upper right to update your clip’s duration.

If you really don’t like your particular clip, you can click the trash can button. You’ll then get a warning prompt about discarding the clip. If you do go ahead with the discard, Reels sends you back to the recording screen.

Add Text, Drawings, or Stickers to Your Reel

Once you tap right, a preview video will automatically start playing. Now you can make any final additions to your video before posting. If you tap the sticker button, you can either search through Instagram’s stickers or choose from the default options. They can then position them with your finger.

The drawing and font icons act similarly as well, so choose your favorite style preset and add them in. There’s also a download button where you can save your video either before and/or after any edits on this screen.

Posting Your Instagram Reels Video

After you’ve finished any final edits, tap the right arrow again. Before sharing your reel to Instagram, there are a few options to explore. You can adjust your cover image by tapping on the previewed image. Then simply choose a frame from your video to update the preview or add an image from your gallery.

If you want to add a small caption you can, and you can also choose whether or not to share your reel to your Instagram feed. If you choose to save your reel as a draft, you can access it later from the Reels tab on your profile.

Finally, you can click share, watch the upload, and start sharing your reels with everyone.

Can Instagram Reels Compete With TikTok?

Instagram Reels already possesses a strong feature list at launch, so there’s no reason to deal with the downsides of TikTok. As such, the short answer is yes, but we’ll give you two major reasons below to use Instagram Reels over TikTok.

1. Security Concerns

As with all social media apps, there’s always a question of privacy and security. However, with TikTok, it’s proven to be a big issue. Check out why it’s time to uninstall TikTok if you value your privacy.

2. Music Selection

Another reason why Instagram Reels can compete with TikTok is the music selection on offer. Instagram Reels puts major artists’ music at your fingertips. Which gives you another way to grab your audience’s attention.

Explore Instagram Reels and Ditch TikTok

TikTok is coming under fire from a number of angles, including the US Government. And while Reels isn’t the only competition (there’s also Byte, which is Vine v2), it stands the best chance of replicating the success of TikTok.

Instagram Reels offers a powerful way to connect with others. Whatever way you want to use it, its integration into Instagram makes it easy to get started with Reels.

And if you want to learn about another useful Instagram feature, here’s how to schedule posts on Instagram.

Read the full article: What Is Instagram Reels and Can It Compete With TikTok?

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You’ll No Longer Get YouTube Email Notifications Soon

YouTube email notifications are changing in a big way. Google has announced that, from next week, it won’t email subscribers when a new video goes live from a creator they follow.

This sounds like a significant change, but it actually might not make a difference for content creators. Instead, it will just remove an annoyance from YouTube users.

YouTube Email Notifications Are Going Away

This might sound like something that could hurt content creators. After all, any method they can use to let their subscribers know they’ve released a new video should be a good thing. However, Google claims that only almost no users actually open these emails.

In fact, many users claim that these emails only contribute to inbox overload, which means they’re really just annoying them.

The company posted on its YouTube Help site about the change, saying:

“Less than 0.1% of these emails are opened, and people have told us that these emails contribute to inbox overload – we hope this change helps you more easily spot and pay attention to the important emails YouTube sends about your account, mandatory service announcements, etc. as no other types of emails are going away.”

In fact, Google claims that it “didn’t see any impact to watch time when we experimented with turning off these emails.”

While one form of notification is going away, Google will still provide users with web and mobile notifications of new videos. That means there are plenty of ways for fans to know when their favorite creator posts a new video or goes live on their channel.

The company even claims that removing these emails caused users to interact with other forms of notifications more frequently. Google states, “tests showed that when we don’t send these emails, more people engage with mobile push notifications and their Subscriptions feed.”

How to Manage Your YouTube Notifications

If you’re an avid YouTube user, you probably have notifications turned on for your favorite channels. You’ve also probably heard your favorite YouTube creators ask you to turn on notifications so that they can let you know when they’ve made something new.

While notifications can be a Godsend, you might accidentally leave some on that you don’t want. Thankfully, YouTube makes it easy to manage your notifications.

On your computer, click your profile picture, then Settings, then Notifications. On Android or iOS, open the YouTube app, tap your profile picture, tap Settings, then Notifications.

If you can’t get enough of Google’s video service, here are some ways to watch YouTube without even going to YouTube.

Read the full article: You’ll No Longer Get YouTube Email Notifications Soon

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You Can Now Watch Video Podcasts on Spotify

Spotify now supports video podcasts as well as audio podcasts. This means that podcasters will be able to record video alongside audio, and have it play directly in the Spotify app. And Spotify listeners, both free and paid, will be able to watch video podcasts on Spotify.

How to Watch Video Podcasts on Spotify

As outlined in a post on For the Record, Spotify is starting to roll out its video podcast feature. Video podcasts will be available to listeners in all markets where podcasts are already supported. However, only a handful of podcasters are offering video at launch.

Everyone in a country where podcasts are supported on Spotify should be able to watch video podcasts. Starting with the episode of Higher Learning With Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay embedded below. Just open it in either Spotify’s desktop or mobile app and click Play.

The video and audio should start playing simultaneously, and stay synced throughout. If you switch to another app or lock your mobile device, the audio will continue playing in the background. You can also still download just the audio of podcasts to listen to on the go without worrying about the video.

As well as this episode of Higher Learning, other podcasts with video components include Book of Basketball 2.0, Fantasy Footballers, The Misfits Podcast, H3 Podcast, The Morning Toast, and The Rooster Teeth Podcast. And more will be added as Spotify rolls out this feature.

Signing Joe Rogan Forced Spotify’s Hand

Spotify has been testing video podcasts since May 2020. The streaming service has been signing up podcasts and podcast networks left, right, and center, and some of them already produce video content. So supporting video podcasts was an obvious next step.

The signing of Joe Rogan in May meant Spotify had to act fast. After all, the company spent millions of dollars to secure the services of Rogan, and his video podcast (which currently streams on YouTube) is a big reason why Spotify signed the self-styled king of podcasters.

How to Find New Podcasts to Listen To

Watching a video podcast on Spotify isn’t perfect right now, but the streaming service has made it clear it intends to improve functionality in the future. Whether anyone actually watches them remains to be seen.

If you’re keen to discover more podcasts to listen to (with video or otherwise), here’s how to find new podcasts using Spotify’s podcast playlists.

Read the full article: You Can Now Watch Video Podcasts on Spotify

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YouTube Kids Is Now Available on Amazon Fire TV

With COVID-19 still impacting our lives in various ways, parents will be desperate for ways to keep their kids entertained at home. Parents with an Amazon Fire TV can now install the YouTube Kids app and leave their offspring watching their favorite YouTubers.

Amazon revealed that YouTube Kids is now available on Amazon Fire TV in a post on the Fire TV Blog. As well as YouTube Kids, Amazon recommends Prime Video, FreeTime Unlimited, PBS Kids, and the SEGA app for families keen to stay entertained.

What Is YouTube Kids?

YouTube Kids is a standalone app that offers a family-friendly version of YouTube. A mix of automatic filters and human review is used to ensure the videos are suitable for children. And parents are able to set the age range and limit screen time, etc.

Neither YouTube or YouTube Kids was available on Amazon Fire TV for some time due to a spat between Google and Amazon. But with that spat now sorted, you can watch Amazon Prime Video on your Chromecast, and YouTube and YouTube Kids on your Fire TV.

Watch YouTube Kids on Amazon Fire TV

To watch YouTube Kids on your Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, you just need to install it from the Amazon Appstore. So, power up your Fire TV device, click the Search icon, and search for YouTube Kids. When you find it, download the app from the results page.

Once you have installed the YouTube Kids app on your Fire TV, it will be available in your list of Apps. Parents can sign into their YouTube account, create profiles for their kids, and access the range of parental controls designed to keep children safe and entertained.

The Best YouTube Channels for Kids

Now that you can install YouTube Kids on your Amazon Fire TV, you just need to know what to watch on it. Or at least what to persuade your kids to watch on it. So, to help you get started, here are the best YouTube channels for kids to watch.

Read the full article: YouTube Kids Is Now Available on Amazon Fire TV

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How to Post a YouTube Video on Instagram

One of the best ways to reach out to family, friends, and strangers is through Instagram. However, if you want to share a video with someone on the platform, you’ll need to know how to post a YouTube video on Instagram.

So, in this article, we’ll show you how to post a YouTube video on Instagram using either your mobile device or desktop computer.

How to Post a YouTube Video on Instagram From Your Smartphone

Using a smartphone to post a YouTube video on Instagram isn’t as easy as it sounds. The process is different for both Android and iPhone users, which only complicates matters even more.

Step 1: Install TubeMate

If you have an iPhone, please refer to our article detailing how to download YouTube videos to your iPhone Camera Roll. As for Android users, we’ll let you in on how you can download YouTube videos to your device using TubeMate.

This app isn’t available through the Google Play Store, so you’ll have to download it directly from the TubeMate site. Before you install TubeMate, you’ll need to tweak a security setting that lets your device download apps that aren’t on the Google Play Store. Just make sure to only use this setting for apps you trust.

To enable this setting, head to Settings > Apps > Special access > Install unknown apps. From here, select the browser that you’re downloading TubeMate from, and toggle on “Allow from this source.”

Now, you can go ahead and download TubeMate from any of the links listed on its site.

Download: TubeMate for Android (Free)

Step 2: Download the YouTube Video on Your Android Device

TubeMate writes over the original YouTube app, and adds a download feature. Simply open TubeMate, search for the YouTube video you want to download, and then click the red download button in the bottom-right corner of the video.

You’ll get the option to choose from several different video qualities. If you want to download a 1080p video (the max resolution for Instagram videos), you’ll have to download the MP3 video converter app that TubeMate directs you to.

Step 3: Shorten the Video

In addition to putting a limit on your video’s max resolution, Instagram also has a length restriction for videos—you can only upload videos between three and 60 seconds long. If your video is already within these limits, you can skip this step.

You can easily shorten your video using your phone’s built-in video editor or by using a third-party app—for this part, I used my phone’s built-in editor. After accessing the video, I hit the pencil icon at the bottom of the video, and then selected the scissors icon. From here, I dragged the white bars to fit the portion of the video that I wanted to keep, and then hit Save.

Step 4: Post the YouTube Video on Instagram

When you’re ready to make your post, open the Instagram app, and click the plus icon at the bottom of the page. Select the YouTube video from your gallery, add a filter, write a caption, and then hit Share.

How to Post a YouTube Video on Instagram From Your Computer

You have to jump through just as many hoops when posting a YouTube video to Instagram using your computer. It’s a multi-step process that we’ve outlined below.

Step 1: Install 4K Video Downloader

4K Video Downloader YouTube Videos

4K Video Downloader is a reliable tool that you can use to download videos from YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Vimeo, and more. Not only does this full-featured video downloader allow you to extract subtitles from YouTube videos, but it even lets you download videos in 4K. This makes it ideal for prepping YouTube videos for Instagram.

To learn more about this handy software, make sure to check out our review of 4K Video Downloader.

Download: 4K Video Downloader for Windows, macOS, or Linux (Free, with premium version available)

Step 2: Download the YouTube Video on Your Desktop

Now that you have 4K Video Downloader, you’ll want to use it to download the YouTube video of your choice. Start by copying the URL of the YouTube video, and then hit Paste Link in the top-left corner of the 4K Video Downloader menu.

4K Video Downloader will automatically detect the link you just copied. After it’s done parsing the video, you can choose from several different resolution options that can even go up to 8K if the video supports it. Instagram only permits video uploads of up to 1080p, so you won’t have to worry about downloading 4K or 8K videos.

Download YouTube Video Quality

4K Video Downloader also presents you with an option to change the video format, but you’ll want to leave that set on MP4. To start the download, hit Download at the bottom of the page.

Step 3: Shorten the Video

You can quickly trim the video using Windows’ built-in Movies & TV app, or you can opt to use iMovie on macOS. There are also plenty of other video editing apps you can use instead.

Here, we’ll give you a quick tutorial on how to trim the video in Movies & TV. After opening the video in Movies & TV, click the pencil icon at the bottom of the menu, and select Trim from the dropdown menu.

Edit YouTube Video in Photos

You can drag the two white markers on either side of the video’s timeline to set a new length. When you’re finished, click Save a copy in the top-right corner of the app.

Step 4: Transfer the YouTube Video to Your Smartphone Using Google Drive

Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t allow you to post photos or videos from its desktop site. The easiest way to get around this is to send the downloaded video to your smartphone.

There are quite a few options when it comes to transferring the video to your mobile device. You can use a cloud storage provider, attach the video to an email, or even sync your mobile device to your computer. For this article, we’ll show you how to send the video to your smartphone using Google Drive.

First, ensure that you have a Google Drive account, and make sure you’ve already downloaded the Google Drive app on your smartphone.

To upload your video to Drive, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Hit the New button in the left corner of the screen.
  3. Select File Upload from the dropdown menu.
  4. Find the YouTube video you downloaded, and hit Open.

When the video finishes uploading, you should be able to open Google Drive on your mobile device and select the video. From here, hit the three vertical dots in the right corner of the video, and hit Download.

Now that the video is on your mobile device, you can upload the video to Instagram using the same steps that we’ve previously outlined.

How to Share YouTube Videos on Instagram the Right Way

Sharing a YouTube video on Instagram may sound complicated, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. While both methods outlined above require a series of steps, posting on your smartphone is ultimately the easier way to post a YouTube video on Instagram. This way, you don’t have to go through the trouble of dealing with Google Drive.

Having YouTube videos on your Instagram page can help attract more followers to your page. For more ways to make your profile unique, check out these tips to make your Instagram stand out.

Read the full article: How to Post a YouTube Video on Instagram

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How to Watch Facebook Live on Desktop and Mobile

Facebook Live is the social network’s live video platform. It allows you to broadcast live to your family, friends, and followers, with the footage streaming on your News Feed.

The content you can find on Facebook Live is diverse. There’s plenty of creative, funny, and thought-provoking footage worth watching. So, here’s how to watch Facebook Live on both desktop and mobile.

(Warning: Facebook Live has been used to stream homicide, sexual assault, and suicide. And while it’s rare, we recommend monitoring what your children are watching.)

Why Is Facebook Live So Popular?

Facebook Live has been accessible for some users since mid-2016, becoming available to everyone in January 2017.

The platform has quickly grown in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why:

  • On average, live videos enjoy six times more engagement than regular videos.
  • Facebook Live videos get 10 times more comments than regular videos.
  • Users watch Facebook Live videos for three times as long as uploaded videos.

This all means that one out of every five new Facebook videos is now a live broadcast and live videos rack up billions of views per day.

Watch Facebook Live via the News Feed

If someone with whom you have a connection on Facebook (such as a friend, page, group, or celebrity you’re following) decides to stream on Facebook Live, their video will appear in your News Feed.

However, it’s not a particularly satisfactory way of finding content. The method relies on a few variables:

  • You need some form of Facebook relationship with the person or entity.
  • Facebook’s algorithms have to opt to show you the video in your news feed.
  • You need to be on Facebook at the exact moment that the other person is filming.

How to Watch Facebook Live on Desktop

If you want a more efficient way of tuning into Facebook Live videos from your desktop, you have two options available to you.

1. Use the Navigation Panel

fb live

The most common way of accessing Facebook Live videos is to use the dedicated link in the navigation panel on the left-hand side of the Facebook News Feed.

You will find the link—titled Live Video—in the Explore section. You may need to click on Show More to reveal it.

Clicking the link will take you straight to the Live section of Facebook Watch. Scroll down the page to find sections for popular live videos, live news, and live gaming.

2. Use the URL

You can save time and head straight to the Facebook Live page from anywhere on the web by entering the service’s URL in your browser’s address bar. The URL is facebook.com/live. It will take you to the same page as using the navigation bar method described above.

Sadly, you can no longer see a Facebook Live map. You used to be able to find nearby broadcasts thanks to blue dots on a map of your local region, but Facebook killed the feature in June 2019, citing “low usage.”

How to Watch Facebook Live on Android

If you want to watch Facebook Live on your Android device, you can once again turn to your news feed or use the dedicated link.

To find the dedicated link, open Facebook and follow the instructions below:

  1. Tap on the More tab (three horizontal lines) in the upper-right corner of the app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Live Videos.
  3. Choose the video you want to watch.

How to Watch Facebook Live on iOS

The process for watching Facebook Live videos on iOS is broadly the same as on Android.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Open the Facebook app.
  2. Tap on the More tab in the lower-right corner.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Live Videos.
  4. Choose the video you want to watch.

Other Ways to Find Facebook Live Videos

If you can’t find what you’re looking for using the Live Video links as described above, there are a few other ways you can find Facebook Live videos to watch.

Enable Live Video Notifications

facebook live notifications

One of the best ways to make sure you never miss a live stream from someone you follow is to enable live video notifications.

To turn on notifications for Facebook Live, click on the small arrow in the upper-right corner of your Facebook homescreen, then head to Settings > Notifications > Video and flip the toggle into the On position.

NB: Perform the reverse steps if you want to turn off Facebook Live notifications.

Use Hashtags

Facebook Live streamers have adopted the #live hashtag to indicate when they are on air. Of course, not every live streamer uses it, but it’s a good way to find specific videos.

You can search for the hashtag using the search bar at the top of the homescreen on the desktop. You can even append other words, for example, #live Fortnite would bring up videos of people playing the game.

Ask People to Share Facebook Live Videos With You

share video facebook live

Like all content on Facebook, there is an internal Share button which you can use to share the content with other users.

If your friends have similar interests, tell them to share Facebook Live videos with you whenever they find something worthwhile.

How to Watch Old Facebook Live Videos

When someone finishes recording a Facebook Live video, they can save the content and add it to their profile for posterity (though the person recording can disable the feature).

This means that you can scroll back through a person’s timeline and find old Facebook Live videos. When you click on an old video, all of their other old broadcasts will automatically load into a single playlist which you can then browse.

Warning: You May Find Adult Content on Facebook Live

Facebook Live does occasionally play host to adult or inappropriate videos, including pornography, violence, and other unsavory content.

Some of it is unplanned and can be filed in the “perils of live TV” category. However, some of it very much is planned and is actively advertised in the darkest corners of the web.

Naturally, Facebook’s terms and conditions do not permit videos of this nature, but because it’s live, it’s incredibly hard to filter out in advance. There’s no way for you to preemptively block adult videos.

Luckily, the content only represents a tiny fraction of the 3,000 years’ worth of video watched every day, so you would have to be very unlucky to stumble onto it by accident. Nonetheless, it’s important to realize that there is a risk of finding adult content on Facebook Live.

If you’re on the hunt for all types of videos on Facebook, not just the live variety, check out this guide detailing how to find videos on Facebook.

Other Ways to Watch Live Streams Online

Facebook Live is just one of a growing number of services that allow regular people around the world to stream their content to the masses. So check out our article comparing Facebook Live vs. Periscope for an alternative.

And to broadcast on Facebook Live yourself, here’s how to go live on Facebook.

Read the full article: How to Watch Facebook Live on Desktop and Mobile

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How to Save or Download Videos From Facebook: 7 Methods

Have you seen a great video clip on Facebook that you want to save for all eternity? Don’t worry. It’s easy to save or download Facebook videos, whether they are regular uploads or Facebook Live recordings. You just need the right tools for the job.

Some of the tools are web apps, and some are desktop apps. There’s even one tool that lets you download private Facebook videos. Regardless of the tool you use, you will be able to watch your downloaded Facebook video on any device you want, even if you are offline.

1. Downvids

downvids

Downvids is a web-based Facebook video downloader. It’s easy to use and will let you download Facebook videos on an iPhone or Android handset, should you wish.

Just paste the video’s URL in the box, choose your quality using the drop-down menu below Select video format, and hit Download. A new box will pop up underneath. Hit Download for a second time, and the process will begin.

(NB: Make sure you watch out for all of the fake download buttons, as it’s very easy to get caught out by these.)

2. FBDown

fbdown homepage

Like Downvids, FBDown is an easy-to-use Facebook video downloader. You just need to paste a link to get started. However, the app also offers an underused second method for downloading content. Let’s take a look at both approaches.

First, the link method. To begin, copy the link of the video you want, paste it into the box on the web app, and hit the Download button. The app will spend a few seconds processing your request. On the next screen, click Download Video in Normal Quality to save it to your computer. Again, watch out for the fake buttons.

Second, you can also try the FBDown Chrome extension. It will detect any video on the web page you’re currently looking at, then offer a way to download it via the icon in the upper right-hand corner of the browser. Best of all, it also works with videos on sites other than Facebook.

3. FBDown Private Facebook Videos

fbdown private

FBDown also offers what is comfortably the most reliable way to download private Facebook videos.

Unfortunately, downloading private videos is nowhere near as straightforward as grabbing public videos. Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process using FBDown:

  1. Head to the private Facebook video you want to download.
  2. Right-click on the video and select Copy video URL.
  3. Head to FBDown’s private video downloader web app.
  4. Paste the copied URL and click Next.
  5. The tool will generate a link. Hit the Copy button and open the link in a new tab.
  6. Select and copy all the text.
  7. Paste it into the Page Source box on the web app.
  8. Click Download.

For more detailed instructions on how to save videos, check out our guide detailing how to download private Facebook videos.

Remember, be ethical when using this tool. People have made their videos private for a reason. Please don’t use this tool to publish, steal, or exploit other users’ content.

4. SaveFrom

savefrom

SaveFrom offers a web app and a Chrome extension, both of which let you copy a video from Facebook. The app also works with several other sites including YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion, so it’s a good all-in-one solution if you’re a serial video downloader.

If you’ve been following along, you will be familiar with the first step: Grab the video’s URL, paste it into the on-screen box, and hit Download.

We’ve also touched on the second approach—SaveFrom’s Chrome extension. Sadly, the extension is not in the Chrome Web Store; you will need to sideload it. The process is quite convoluted and involves using MeddleMonkey, a tool that adds user script support to Chrome. Check out SaveFrom’s installation guide for more information.

If you use the web app, SaveFrom will also let you save a video from Facebook to your phone. Both Android and iOS are supported.

5. KeepVid

keepvid

KeepVid is one of the easiest ways to download any video off the internet. According to the tool’s literature, you can download content from more than 10,000 apps and web pages.

It’s also arguably the most full-featured of all the apps on this list. There’s an online downloader, a desktop app for Windows and macOS, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

The desktop programs are not free to use, though they do add extra functionality. However, if you just want to grab a couple of videos off Facebook, they’re not necessary; the online tool will satisfy your needs. To use it, grab the URL of the Facebook video you want, paste it into the box, and click Download.

6. mbasic Facebook

mbasic facebook

Using mbasic Facebook refers to a trick whereby you access the mobile version of Facebook on a desktop machine. The upside is that this method does not rely on a third-party app; you are interacting directly with the Facebook site. On the downside, however, the mBasic version of Facebook is very, well, basic. Which means it isn’t the easiest site to navigate.

Type mbasic.facebook.com into your browser to get started. Then, using the mobile version of the site, navigate to the Facebook video you want to download. When you click the video to begin playback, it will open in its own tab in your browser.

Right-click on the video and select Save Video As to download the video off Facebook and save it on your computer or Android/iPhone.

7. Getfvid

getfvid

Getfvid doesn’t only let you save Facebook videos—you can also use the app to download MP3 files of audio clips. Furthermore, it works on desktop but also doubles as a way to save a video from Facebook to your phone. Just visit the Getfvid site from your mobile browser if you want to download to Android or iPhone.

Regardless of the operating system that you’re using, the download process is the same. Copy the URL of the video you want to download, paste it into the on-screen box, and hit the Download button.

If you don’t want to have to deal with the site, Getfvid also has a Chrome extension. It will let you download HD videos from Facebook in a single click. The extension does not work with private Facebook videos.

Other Ways to Download Facebook Videos

If you want to save or download a Facebook video, all of the tools we have discussed in this article will fulfill your needs. But of course, we’ve barely scratched the surface. There are lots of websites, mobile apps, and desktop programs that can achieve a similar outcome.

If these tools don’t work for you, don’t hesitate to try these other ways to download videos off websites. And if you’re an iOS user, check out how to download social media videos to your iPhone.

Read the full article: How to Save or Download Videos From Facebook: 7 Methods

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7 Free Ways to Download or Save Instagram Videos

Instagram videos aren’t known for their quality or replayability. However, on the rare occasion that you do find a clip that you’d like to keep a copy of, you’re going to need to know how to save Instagram videos onto your smartphone or computer.

Thankfully, downloading videos from Instagram is as easy as pie. Just choose one of the free methods below to get started.

1. Video Downloader for Instagram

Available on: Android

Android users can find an abundance of specialist apps for downloading Instagram videos in the Google Play Store.

One of the most popular is Video Downloader for Instagram. It lets you download or repost videos from Instagram with a single tap. The app can even download the tags that accompany the videos.

The downloaded content is automatically added to your phone’s gallery app.

Download: Video Downloader for Instagram (Free)

2. IFTTT

ifttt instagram

Available on: Android, iOS, Web

Do you want to download all of your Instagram videos? Or maybe save Instagram videos you like? You can set up an IFTTT applet. To get the applet working, you will need an IFTTT account, an Instagram account, and a Dropbox account.

The result is an automatic process in which any Instagram video you add or like is automatically downloaded and added to your chosen Dropbox folder. What could be simpler than that?

3. w3toys

w3toys

Available on: Web

Another tool that’s ideal for saving Instagram videos is w3toys. It lets you download any Instagram video in HD format, then save it into any of your device’s libraries.

To grab your video, find the URL of the video post on Instagram and paste it into the web app. When you’re ready, click on the Download button to start the saving process. Make sure you remove any junk tags from the end of the URL before you attempt the download, or else the process will fail.

The w3toys tool also works if you want to save Instagram videos, stories, highlights, and IGTV content. You can even download entire feeds that have a combination of all of the above.

4. Dredown

dredown

Available on: Web

Dredown—which is still sometimes referred to by its previous name, Instadown—is one of the original Instagram video download tools, and it’s still going strong.

All Dredown needs to work is a URL. Paste the URL into the box and click Dredown. Within a few seconds, your browser will start downloading the Instagram video as an MP4 file.

Dredown works with more services than just Instagram. You can also use it to download content from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Vimeo, Metacafe, Vevo, Kohtakte, and Tumblr.

For all the services Dredown supports, you just need to know the URL of the post, video, or photo you want to save.

5. Regrammer

regrammer

Available on: Web

Regrammer used to be one of the best ways to download Instagram videos on iOS, but the app (since renamed) no longer supports the feature.

However, although the iOS app is gone, Regrammer lives on in web browsers. You can use it on any operating system to download an Instagram video to a PC or Mac. Once again, you’ll need the URL of the Instagram video you want to download to make the app work. When you have it, head to the Regrammer website, paste in the URL, and click Preview.

On the final page, you can choose to either download the video onto your device or repost it under your own name.

(NB: If you have an iOS device, you can also check out how to download videos from any social media site, not just Instagram.)

6. Documents + InstaDownloader

Available on: iOS

If you want to save Instagram videos onto your iOS device, the process is a little more complex. These days, you will struggle to find a regular Instagram video downloader in the Apple App Store, presumably because the practice breaches Instagram’s terms and conditions.

One solution is to pair the Documents app with a web-based downloader. For those who don’t know, Documents is probably the best iOS app for managing your system folders and keeping your files organized.

If you have the Documents app on your device and visit InstaDownloader, you can save the video directly onto your device and access/share/view it at your leisure.

Download: Documents (Free)

7. Blastup

blastup

Available on: Web

We will leave you with one more web app. It’s always sensible to keep a few web apps for downloading Instagram videos in your arsenal, as they will often go down for a couple of days at a time.

By now, you’ll be familiar with the process of using these services. Grab the URL of the video or picture you want, then paste it into the Blastup web app, and click Download Gram.

Depending on the size of the file, you should have a new MP4 on your computer within a matter of seconds. You can use the re-upload the video to a different social network, or just keep it on your hard drive so you can refer back to it later.

Can You Download Instagram Videos Legally?

As easy as it is to download videos off Instagram, don’t forget that you have no rights over videos you did not create.

Yes, you can download them. Yes, you can enjoy them. But don’t go uploading them as your own, or distributing them in any other way, especially without giving due credit. You wouldn’t want the same thing done to you.

Other Ways to Save Instagram Videos

If these apps don’t give the results you want when trying to download videos from Instagram, there are some additional methods you can use.

For example, you can one of the generic apps that let you download streaming video from websites. VideoGrabby, Video DownloadHelper, and Freemake Video Downloader are all solid options in this department.

Make sure you also check out our guides detailing how to download YouTube video playlists and how to download Periscope videos.

Not being able to download videos without using a third-party tool is just one of Instagram’s many annoyances. Thankfully, we’ve covered how to break Instagram restrictions in a separate article.

Read the full article: 7 Free Ways to Download or Save Instagram Videos

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What Is Byte and How Do I Use It?

Are you looking to try a short looping video app? Byte, from the original creators of Vine, continues to make a steady case for your attention. While still finding its feet, Byte is seeking to become a major and creative platform reflective of its community.

Whether you’re a Vine veteran or just curious about Byte, in this article, we’ll explain what Byte is and how to get started with it.

What Is Byte?

byte web browser

Byte is an app that lets you watch and create short looping videos. Despite the simple premise, Byte is an experimental platform. With every new feature, it tries to appeal to more users as well as improve its content.

Since Byte launched for fans of Vine and TikTok, added features include longer bytes, byte beats, floaties, channels, badges, and text. However, due to the app’s development state, some features require specific devices (such as floaties, which are currently only available on iOS for iPhone X and above).

Why Use Byte?

For those using Snapchat or TikTok already, you might be wondering why you need to start using Byte. While Byte offers similar features, it opts for a more streamlined style.

If other platforms leave you unsure, Byte offers a welcome alternative. With growing concerns online like whether TikTok is a natural security threat, it’s worth considering an alternative such as Byte.

So here are a number of reasons to start using Byte…

1. Enjoy Nearly Infinite Short Videos

Since Byte focuses on short looping videos, there’s a constant flow of videos to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a quick distraction or a clever skit, Byte’s avid creators provide a steady stream of videos.

On top of the wealth of content, Byte continues to refine its algorithm to provide useful search options and a video mix tailored just for you.

2. Create Short Videos Easily

Byte doesn’t have any overly complicated controls. For even the most unfamiliar of users, it’s an incredibly intuitive platform to post your first video. If you want to keep it short and sweet, it can be as simple as holding down the record button.

If you want to do more editing and set-up, you can easily import a video to create your byte. As such, you won’t feel encroached upon if you have any favorite video editing software already. Byte leaves it entirely up to the user on how much work they want to put in.

3. Have a Voice in Byte’s Future Direction

As an emerging program, Byte offers a lot of opportunities for involvement. Whether you’re a content creator or user, your feedback matters in the evolution of Byte. If you agree with our article listing everything that’s wrong with Snapchat, here’s a chance to make an impact on a new content platform.

Byte uses Google Forms for any of its content items, whether it’s the creator program or new channel proposals. If you want to share your thoughts or have problems, you can explore Byte’s community or get support via email.

How to Use Byte

When you first launch Byte, you’ll always start on the Your Mix tab. This feed will showcase a mix of spotlighted bytes with an occasional channel-specific byte. The more you use the app, the more the algorithm will update its suggestions for you.

However, to get the most of Byte, you’ll want to customize your Byte experience and interact. Let’s break down the best ways to get started using the app.

1. Learn to Use Channels

While you can just watch trending content on Byte, most users will want to customize their feed over time. To help make this easier, Byte has worked to create channels that follow strict content guidelines. Before choosing to follow any channels, Byte makes it easy to preview the content as a whole.

After tapping on a channel, Byte provides a brief description along with spotlighted and popular videos for the channel. If you want to know more about what videos you can post, each channel sets rules. You can also change how the videos display and sort to preview them faster.

Overall, it doesn’t take long to personalize Your Mix with channels if you follow these simple steps:

  1. Click the Magnifying Glass icon.
  2. Scroll through the various channels and tap on a channel.
  3. After selecting a channel, click the Follow button at the top.

2. Interact with Videos

Once you’ve arrived at a video you want to interact with, Byte makes it easy to interact. You can leave a like, comment, or share. When sharing a video, Byte offers four options: Share, Copy Link, Export, and Rebyte.

Share, as expected, lets you send the byte to any of your phone’s social and messaging apps. Export functions the same as share but encodes the file before sending it to anyone. Copy Link creates a Byte URL to share, and Rebyte lets you repost a byte to share with any followers you have.

You can also click on anyone’s username to bring up their profile page and give them a follow. Upon tapping a video, you can write a comment, report any offensive content, and see how many video loops have occurred.

3. Upload Videos

Uploading videos to Byte doesn’t take very long. If you’re following a channel, you’ll see a button to post a video. You can also click the camera button from your home page on Byte to bring up the recording interface.

Byte’s video preview keeps it simple with a minimal interface to work with. In the center, there’s a large recording button you hold down to film video. You can hold and release to make separate cuts as you’re filming.

There’s a menu button below the recording button that lets you set a self-timer or insert a clip. You can also switch camera views, undo your last recorded segment, use ghost mode to recreate your last frame, or insert video via the bottom row buttons. Whenever you insert a clip, Byte allows you to edit the duration via a movable bar.

Once you have the video’s length to your liking, you can insert a beat via a music note icon or insert text via the T icon. Byte also allows you to move inserted text around freely with your finger to reposition it.

Before posting, you’ll add a description and choose which channel to upload your byte to. You can also save the final video to your phone’s gallery.

Download: Byte on Android | iOS

Use Byte and Re-Imagine Short Video

Whether you want to watch videos or create videos, Byte continues to refine its experience. With a growing community, Byte offers early adopters plenty of room to explore and develop.

If Byte leaves you missing Vine or wanting to know more, there are still ways to experience it. If you’re curious, here’s how to find and watch old vines.

Read the full article: What Is Byte and How Do I Use It?

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How to Record Your Screen and Stream With OBS Studio

If you’re looking to record your screen or stream online, OBS Studio (formerly Open Broadcaster Software) is a great option. This tool makes it simple to capture screencasts, record your gameplay, stream to Twitch, and much more besides.

However, if you’ve never used it before, OBS Studio might seem a little daunting at first. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up OBS Studio, what you need to start recording and streaming, and tips for getting the best results.

Download OBS Studio

To get started, you’ll want to download OBS Studio for Windows, macOS, or Linux. We’ll use the Windows version for this tutorial, but it’s similar across all platforms.

OBS Studio is truly free, so you don’t have to pay for any features. It’s also open source software, meaning anyone can look at the code and improve it. This is the case with a popular spin-off: Streamlabs OBS.

Download OBS Studio

Step through the standard installer. Once it completes, OBS Studio will offer to walk you through an auto-configuration wizard. You can do this if you like; we’ll review relevant settings below, though.

How to Use OBS Studio: The User Interface

The main OBS Studio interface allows you to set up everything you need to start streaming or recording. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see several control elements.

OBS Main Window

Scenes

A Scene in OBS Studio allows you to collect and arrange certain Source elements in a specific way. You can have multiple scenes and switch between them at will.

This will make a bit more sense as we move on. For now, you can click the Plus button to create a new scene. Call it Default or something similar (you can change it later).

After you’ve added some elements, you can click on them in the preview to adjust as you wish. Click the Eye icon to hide an element, or the Lock to prevent accidental movement.

OBS Scenes

Sources

Sources are the video and audio inputs that you feed into OBS Studio. Click the Plus button to add a new one, and you’ll see several categories. The most important ones include:

  • Audio Input Capture: Record sound from a microphone or similar. (See the best microphones for podcasting if you need one.)
  • Audio Output Capture: Capture the sound coming out of your computer, so that your recording/stream includes game or desktop audio.
  • Display Capture: Allows you to capture an entire monitor, no matter what’s showing on it.
  • Game Capture: Choose a specific game to record.
  • Image: Display a static image.
  • Video Capture Device: Records footage from a webcam or similar. (We’ve listed the best budget webcams if you don’t have one already.)
  • Window Capture: Record a specific program window. This is like Game Capture, but works for any program.

Once you select an option, you can choose Create new or Add Existing. Since you just started, you’ll need to add a new item that you can reuse later. After you click OK, OBS Studio displays options depending on the source you chose.

As an example, click Audio Input Capture. Let’s say you’re going to use a headset microphone to record audio. Enter a descriptive name for the source (like Headset Mic) and click OK. On the resulting screen, pick your headset mic from the Device dropdown and click OK.

OBS Add Audio Source

Now, you have that input registered with OBS Studio and can easily add it again in the future. You’ll need to repeat this step to add your webcam, screen capture, and similar.

Audio Mixer

Once you’ve added all of your sources, the Audio Mixer tab lets you adjust the volume balance between them. The bars move in real-time to reflect levels. Drag the slider to adjust the mix, or click the speaker icon to mute one. You’ll find more options by clicking the Gear icon by a source.

OBS Audio Mixer Options

You should definitely test these ahead of time, as different sources can have vastly different volume levels. You wouldn’t want to complete a recording only to find out that the game volume overpowers your mic audio.

Scene Transitions

This simple section allows you to choose what happens when you swap between scenes. Choose between Fade and Cut in the dropdown box, or hit Plus to pick another option. You can choose how long the transition lasts using the Duration box.

Controls

OBS Transitions and Controls

Here, the Start Streaming and Start Recording buttons will let you start capturing footage with OBS Studio. You can see the current FPS and CPU usage below.

It also lets you enable Studio Mode for making changes to scenes on the fly, plus access to the many Settings of OBS Studio.

The Best OBS Settings to Use

Before your first recording or stream, you should tweak a few options. Click Settings in the Controls section of the interface to access them.

OBS Studio offers other options than what we explore here, but you shouldn’t need to worry about those until you’re more experienced with recording and streaming.

Video Settings

First, head to the Video tab. Here, check the Base (Canvas) Resolution and Output (Scaled) Resolution) options.

The first should match your screen resolution, while the second lets you choose the resolution of the final video. Leave Output the same as Base for a full-quality recording, or lower it to something like 1280×720 for a lower file size. Leave the Downscale Filter as Lanczos if you’re downscaling.

OBS Video Settings

Lastly, you’ll need to choose the FPS (frames per second) of the recording. For a smooth picture, choose 60. But if you desire a smaller file size or are recording something simple, 30 is suitable.

It’s also a good idea to open the Advanced tab and set Process Priority to High. This will give OBS Studio the most resources so it can create the best recording.

The Best OBS Settings for Recording

Switch to the Output tab to access options related to screen recording—make sure you’re looking in the Recording section, not Streaming.

At the top, you can set the Output Mode to Simple or Advanced. If you want a quick and solid preset, pick Simple and set the following under Recording:

  • Recording Quality to Indistinguishable Quality
  • Recording format to FLV, or MKV if you prefer
  • Encoder to Hardware (AMD) or Hardware (NVENC) if you have a powerful graphics card. Use Software (x264) if not (see below for more details).
  • Recording Path to a place of your choosing; this is where your completed OBS video will go.

OBS Output Options

Under Recording Format, you can choose the video file type to save in (see different video file types, explained for help). The default is FLV, which is fine in most cases. While MP4 is a popular video format, using it is risky because you’ll lose the whole file if OBS Studio can’t finalize it. Thus, a blue screen or power outage would destroy an MP4 recording, but merely cut it off if you’re using FLV.

Below this, you’ll need to choose an Encoder. The default is Software (x264), which uses your CPU. If you have a powerful dedicated graphics card (not integrated graphics), you should change this to Hardware (AMD) or Hardware (NVENC), depending on your card. Doing so will likely provide better results when recording, as it won’t put as much strain on your CPU.

Of course, Advanced gives you more options if you’re comfortable with that. Choose Advanced and swap to the Recording tab below to see them.

What Bitrate Should I Use?

If you switch to Advanced in the Recording panel, many of the additional options relate to the bitrate. This is a vital part of your recording setup. Essentially, a higher bitrate results in better-quality videos with larger file sizes. Setting bitrate too low will result in pixelated video, while setting it too high will generate a massive file.

Thankfully, if you’re using a graphics card encoder, OBS provides a few options to try using the Preset box. Try Recording if you don’t need particularly high quality, and up it to High Quality Recording if that’s not good enough. Indistinguishable Recording and Near Lossless Recording are useful if you need extremely high quality recordings, but be aware that the files will be huge.

If you’re using x264 encoding, you’ll need to set these values manually. There’s no one perfect setting, as the best bitrate depends on your screen size and setup. For 1080p recording at 60FPS, you can start with something like 40,000kbps and adjust from there.

It’s a good idea to try these options to see which provides the best balance of quality and file size. Try recording a minute of typical footage, then use that to estimate how large of a file you’ll end up with.

OBS Output Advanced Options

The Best Streaming Settings in OBS

The Output tab is also home to the Streaming section of options. In Simple mode, you’ll simply need to specify a bitrate, choose between software or hardware encoding, and set the Audio Bitrate.

Twitch recommends certain streaming bitrates depending on quality. 1080p at 60FPS should use a bitrate of at least 6,000, while 720p at 30fps can use something around 3,000. For the audio bitrate, 160 is a good baseline. You can increase this to 192 for better quality, or 320 if you need top-notch audio.

If you want to dive into the Advanced mode, you’ll find options similar to the Streaming tab as discussed above. Users with a graphics card encoder can pick Twitch Streaming from the Preset box as a baseline.

In case you’re using the software encoder, you’ll need to enter the bitrate manually. Use CBR (constant bitrate) for streaming, as VBR (variable bitrate) is inconsistent.

OBS Streaming Options

You may wish to lower the bitrate (as well as downscaling the resolution and lowering the FPS if needed) slightly for streaming. A stable, lower-quality stream that everyone can enjoy is better than streaming in maximum quality and having your internet connection struggle to keep up.

Helpful tips for fixing low FPS in games apply here, too. Check out Twitch’s broadcast requirements page for more information.

How to Record Your Screen With OBS Studio

Once you’ve set everything up, to begin screen recording, all you have to do is click Start Recording on the main OBS Studio page. The software will immediately start recording based on the current Scene. You can swap Scenes at any time, so make sure you’ve set them up beforehand.

When you click Stop Recording, OBS Studio will save your file to the directory you specified in Settings. As mentioned earlier, we recommend performing a short test recording first to make sure everything looks and sounds acceptable.

How to Stream Using OBS Studio

To stream with OBS Studio, you’ll first need to connect OBS with your streaming account. Do this by opening Settings and switching to the Stream tab. Under Service, choose your preferred site. You’ll find Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Mixer, and more.

OBS Streaming Account Connect

Next, you’ll need to generate a streaming key for the service. Click the Get Stream Key option in OBS to jump right to the appropriate page for your service. To do this with Twitch, for example, head to the Stream Key page in Twitch’s Settings (Settings > Channel and Videos) while logged in. Click Copy and paste this into the Stream Key field in OBS Studio.

Warning: Never give this stream key to anyone or show it on a stream! Anyone with access to this can stream to your account. If you accidentally share it, click Reset to generate a new one.

You’re Now Ready to Record and Stream With OBS Studio

Now you have a basic understanding of how to use OBS Studio. You can customize it a lot more to suit your own personal needs, but this overview is designed to prepare you to record gameplay locally and/or run your first stream.

If you don’t want to bother with OBS, here’s how to record your Windows screen without any extra software.

Read the full article: How to Record Your Screen and Stream With OBS Studio