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Instagram Rolls Out Video To iPhone And Android Users

Sara Clayton |
June 20, 2013 | 6:38 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Instagram continues to grow and move to the top witch each additional new feature and backer that seems to join in on its hype (creative commons)
Instagram continues to grow and move to the top witch each additional new feature and backer that seems to join in on its hype (creative commons)
On Thursday, CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom announced that its users can now record and share 15-second videos with its new update.

After a small handful of journalists received invitations to this press conference just a week earlier, rumors flew regarding what Facebook could possibly be rolling out.

Initial rumors included Facebook developing a replacement for Google Reader after Scottish developer Tom Waddington noticed RSS feeds in Facebook’s code.

Even more recently, others speculated that Mark Zuckerberg might be unveiling a Facebook Phone after being seen meeting with Samsung President Shin Jong Kyun on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Instagram Is An Instant Hit For A Reason

However, at yesterday’s conference, Zuckerberg delivered a brief introduction that set the tone for the rest of the event when he declared, “Today, we’re going to focus on Instagram.”

Systrom took the stage and reflected on Instagram’s accomplishments, throwing out impressive stats including the 130 million people using Instagram and the 16 billion photos that have been shared, then introduced Video for Instagram.

The presentation that followed Systrom’s announcement showed off the service’s features such as video filters and even Cinema, tech that allows users to stabilize their footage.

As impressive as Video for Instagram may be, it is not a new concept.

Vine, the video-sharing app that Twitter acquired last year, is the first competitor that comes to mind. After Vine beat out Instagram in Twitter shares a couple of weeks ago, there’s no doubt that Systrom’s team knew it had to roll out video soon.

Another video-sharing app that may have served as inspiration to both Vine and Video for Instagram is Viddy, the social video startup located in Venice Beach. Not only does Viddy allow users to choose from different filters, but the app also lets users add music to videos.

Video for Instagram, in a sense, could be described as the product of both Vine and Viddy. There are striking similarities between Video for Instagram and these two video-sharing platforms, but enough differences to make it a distinct product.

For example, the maximum length for Instagram videos – 15 seconds – is 2.5 times longer than that of Vine’s videos, a length which Systrom described as, “Between not too short, and not having to worry about upload times.”

Unlike Vine, Video for Instagram also allows users to choose a “cover frame,” the still that is displayed while a video loads. And if you mess up a part of your video? Instagram lets users re-do frames.

READ MORE: Facebook Revenue Recieves Boost From Mobile Advertising

Despite Instagram's new service, Vine has carved a strong niche for itself as both a video-sharing and entertainment app. Comedian Will Sasso and rapper/producer Tyler, the Creator each have strong followings on Vine. Even non-celebrities have attracted thousands and thousands of followers for their witty and creative Vines. However, many users are beginning to switch over to Instagram, as dueling hashtags "#TeamVine" and "#TeamInstagram" began to populate Vine.

The one mistake that might catch up to Vine after this announcement is its initial and continuing struggles on Android. Vine first released its app on iOS, then 13 million iPhone users later, released Vine on Android along with some bugs. Instagram, on the other hand, released updates for both iOS and Android at the same time and so far, there aren't any bugs to be seen.

Will Instagram completely take over Vine? It's difficult to tell as of now. In response to Instagram Video's launch, Vine co-founders Dom Hoffman and Rus Yusopov took to Vine and gave users a peek at new features, including the ability to draft Vines to save for later as well as a redesign of the video stream. And let's not forget -- Vine allows videos to loop, a key feature that Instagram Video does not have.

nstagram might have the upperhand with its large community, but people such as GigaOm's Matthew Ingram, are already feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of both photos and videos flooding Facebook and Instagram feeds. 

Whether you identify with "#TeamVine" or "#TeamInstagram," at the end of the day, the desire to save and share memories with short video clips is one that is undeniably universal.  

Reach staff reporter Sara Clayton here. Follow her here



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