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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicessocial media strategiesconsumer electronicsInstagramPersonal TechnologyFacebook

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

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?