Facebook has announced that its photo-sharing app, Instagram, will now allow users to post video content as well as photographs. This new feature means that users can make videos lasting between 3 and 15 seconds and apply the distinctive Instagram filters to them. The new video feature is available to Apple users on iOS 5 and above and those using Android Jelly Bean 4.1 and up.
Industry insiders have commented that this is Facebook's move to take on Vine, Twitter's video feature. While similar in certain ways, both features offer different functionality. For starters, Vine lets you film just 6 seconds of video while Instagram allows up to 15 seconds. Video on Instagram doesn't have any lag times compared to Vine where it can take up to 30 seconds to render a video. Video on Instagram also gives users the ability to edit clips - you can choose a cover frame to the public face of your video, focus your depth of field, choose a filter and delete unnecessary frames.
Video on Instagram also has a stabilisation feature called Cinema that eliminates excess movement caused by shaky hands. This feature is currently only available on iOS but there are plans to introduce it to Android.
Instagram video is another example of how open we've become to sharing content with friends on social networks and how integral smartphones are to how we share that content. Instagram is currently used by 130 million people a month and last month 16 billion photos were shared using Instagram; it will be interesting to see if Instagram videos become as popular.