Facebook confirmed rumors Thursday by introducing video sharing to its Instagram service. At a press event, Instagram Co-Founder, Kevin Systrom, unveiled the new Instagram video feature to the already popular Facebook and social media app.
The new Instagram video feature comes just two weeks after Twitter-owned rival Vine introduced its similar video service to Android users. Previously, the popular video app was exclusively available on iOS. The announcement also comes as Vine is making considerable headway with users, surpassing Instagram recently in the sheer number of files shared on Twitter.
However, the Instagram video feature is not simply a duplication of what is currently available with Vine. For example, instead of 6 seconds, Instagram videos deliver 15 seconds of video. And unlike Vine, videos play a single time through instead of looping.
“You can capture a lot in 15 seconds,” Systrom told onlookers at the press event. “We need to do with video what we did with photos.”
Capturing videos with Instagram will be relatively easy. There is no new app to download; the Instagram video feature is now added into the Instagram app. If a user wants to use video instead of photo sharing, they just need to select the video icon, press and release the record button and start capturing video. Each 15-second video can be started and stopped with a press of the record button and clips from the video can be deleted with just a few button pushes, too.
The Instagram team also added 13 new filters exclusively for Instagram video, similar to the filters that are used by the 130 million current users of the photo sharing feature. Also, where Vine videos tend to be jumpy like most other video captured on a smartphone or tablet, a “Cinema” feature on Instagram videos stabilizes what you’re sharing.
Instagram video users will be able to customize how they share their videos, specifically the thumbnail that appears on Facebook news feeds. A user can select an image from the video they just captured and make it their thumbnail which their friends will click rather than have the thumbnail be preselected.
In the more than two years that Instagram has been available to the public, users have shared 16 billion photos, Systrom said. Those photos get about 1 billion “likes” per day on Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion.
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