It's true! Facebook unveils video for Instagram

Will Instagram video boost Twitter's Vine or eclipse it?

After nearly a week of speculation, Facebook announced today that Instagram, its popular photo-sharing service, now supports video.

"It's where people come together to engage with each other," said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, in a press event at Facebook's corporate offices in Menlo Park, Calif., which was also webcast. "It's not just about photos. It's about staying connected ... It's everything we know and love about Instagram but it moves."

And now, Systrom is hoping Instagram's 130 million users will use video to stay connected.

Starting today, users will be able to take and share video, which can be as short as three seconds or as long as 15 seconds, on Instagram. They'll also be able to stitch shorter videos together until they add up to 15 seconds.

Users, who will see videos mixed in with photos as they scroll down on Instagram, also get an editing tool and 13 video filters to improve the look of their videos.

"On Day One, 130 million people will have access to recording life's moments as they happen in real time," Systrom said. "You can capture a lot in 15 seconds. It's not too short to constrain your creativity but not so long that it holds up your download."

Another feature in Instagram's video offering, dubbed "Cinema," stabilises the images, doing away with shaky, nausea-inducing videos.

"Indeed, this is a good move for Instagram," said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner. "They are adding another media type as a pillar to Instagram, and that will give Instagram users more content creation options when they are sharing within their social network."

Instagram video is supported on iOS and Android, and can also be viewed on the Web.

Systrom noted about 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram since it launched in 2010.

That could spell trouble for Twitter, which recently launched its own video service, called Vine, which enables users to shoot and tweet six-second videos that roll on a loop.

"Vine has just lost its uniqueness and could lose future growth," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "If Instagram delivers, this will limit Twitter's full growth potential."

However, Blau said Facebook's move into video with Instagram could be seen as a "me too" kind of move.

"But [Instagram] also has extended the basic video features that you see in Vine by adding filters and image stabilisation, and that will make their video a bit more creative and compelling than what you see on Vine today," he added. "But I actually think this will help Vine. The whole idea being that Facebook/Instagram is now out in the market promoting short-form video content creation with simple-to-use tools that will help also drive people to check out Vine, as well."

Blau also noted that Instagram is still bigger than Vine since it can reach more people because of its connection with Facebook.

The social network bought Instagram last year for US$1 billion.

This article, It's true! Facebook unveils video for Instagram, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Facebookconsumer electronicsInternet-based applications and servicesInstagramPersonal Technologysocial media strategies

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Sharon Gaudin

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?