How To Download Videos from Marco Polo

Do you use the Marco Polo app? Want to know how to download videos from it onto your device? This tutorial will provide a quick overview of what the app is and what it does and will show you how to download videos from Marco Polo onto your phone.

I have been playing around with the Marco Polo app for a little while now. Marketed as a ‘video walkie talkie’, the app has been around for almost three years but I struggled to find anyone I knew who used the app. Originally thought to be set to supplant Snapchat, its goals are now more modest.

I send a ‘Marco’ and as per the game, you should then reply with your ‘Polo’. It’s a very simple premise that leads on to a decent chat app.

Marco Polo app

The Marco Polo app allows you to send short video messages back and forth between users. Part Snapchat, part Tik Tok and part something else. It does differ from these other apps though. Those video messages only last a few seconds and can be about anything rather than lip syncs. You can also keep them in a sort of video conversation history and refer back to them as you please.

The app has been downloaded almost 220,000 times from the Google Play Store and has over 1.1 million ratings on the App Store so people are using it. Those that have reviewed it say good things about it but it just hasn’t caught on like other apps.

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Using the Marco Polo app

You install the Marco Polo app onto your phone and allow it access to your contacts. You then allow it to check those contacts to see if they use the app too. If they do, they appear as a square avatar on the app home page. If they don’t, they remain blank.

You can start a video chat by recording a short video, selecting a contact that also uses Marco Polo and send the video. They watch the video, record a reply and then send it back. Exactly like saying Marco and expecting you to reply Polo.

The ability to retain the videos in a chat history makes it more useful than other attempts at this kind of video chat. You can refer back to earlier chats anytime you like and build up a coherent conversation with a specific history and background. It’s a small thing but does make conversations more tangible.

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Downloading videos from Marco Polo

As well as retaining these videos in a chat history, you can also download them to your phone to keep. There is a catch though. You can only download Marco Polo videos you have made. You cannot download videos that have been sent to you. Presumably this is a security measure but it might be for practical reasons too.

To download Marco Polo videos on Android:

  1. Hold down the thumbnail of the video you want to download.
  2. Select Save Polo from the popup menu.

This will save it to your phone and will play using the app or any video player. Theoretically, you can use a third party screen recording app to record the video you receive in Marco Polo but that isn’t officially supported.

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To download Marco Polo videos on iPhone:

  1. Hold down the thumbnail of the video you want to download.
  2. Select Forward and then More from the popup menu.
  3. Select Save Video.

I don’t know if the ability to record videos received is coming or whether the app wants to protect privacy or modesty. It’s a good idea on one hand but a slight annoyance on the other. You can work around it though. You can use the iOS screen recorder to save a copy of received videos.

  1. Add the screen recorder to your Control Center.
  2. Start the screen recorder.
  3. Open the Marco Polo video and let it finish.
  4. Stop recording once done and save.

The video will be in your Photo Library like other videos and will be permanently saved to your device.

Marco Polo is a decent enough app that allows you to video chat back and forth as you like. The downside is that requirement to allow access to all your contacts. You don’t know what the app does with that information or how it monetizes them. You have no control over that data once you let the app have it and I think this is likely one of the main reasons it hasn’t been anywhere near as popular as Snapchat. Otherwise the app itself is easy to use and works well and deserves a little more popularity.

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