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Video for Instagram Revealed and a First Look at the Update


June 20, 2013 by Ryan Miller

Today, Video for Instagram was revealed during a Facebook event from their headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. Mark Zuckerberg quickly introduced Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to discuss the new video options, which should be available on Apple and Android smartphones today.

Systrom took the in-person invited press, and the web through streaming broadcast, for a first look and a walkthrough tour of all the new functionality, making several none-too-subtle jabs at that “other” video sharing network.

The updated Instagram will now have a video selection option when creating a new media element directly within the app.

instagram-video-1The one very noticeable difference between Vine and Instagram, is that videos for Instagram can be up to fifteen seconds long, rather than the six second limit on Vine. Systrom noted that wanted to let users have more creative freedom and not have the videos be “too short”. To add to that creativity, Instagram has created thirteen unique filters just for videos, which will be able to be previewed during the editing process.
instagram-video-2Speaking of the editing process, clips taken to comprise the video on Instagram will be able to be deleted and reshot during the creation process in case you aren’t satisfied with the first take.

During the publishing process, the user will be able to select the best cover frame to represent the video within the user’s profile and to be showcased in the stream. “It should be the frame you want to show your friends,” Systrom noted.

Videos will begin showing up seamlessly within the stream of their followers, with a small unobtrusive camera watermark to notate it is a video. Videos will play directly within the stream, play only once rather than continuously looping and should begin playing immediately or with very little delay due to pre-caching. Systrom stated “It’s the same Instagram we know and love. But it moves.”
instagram-video-3In addition to the stream within the App, the video will also be available to watch on Instagram’s desktop website and can also be shared to Facebook. Videos shared on Facebook will be added to the user’s video library on their profile.

Lastly, Systrom asked “What if you could take video just like the pros?” before revealing the new video function Cinema which will provide cinematic stabilization to videos. This should dramatically reduce shaky cam jitters that often accompany mobile phone videos, especially when the user is walking. The preview of Cinema in action using before and after video during the event was truly astounding.

Will this be the “Vine Killer”? As with anything, time will tell, but with Vine being relatively young, and having just appeared on Android (for phones using Android 4.0+) a few weeks ago, Instagram has positioned itself with a very strong case for users who have yet to adopt Vine to no longer need it. Let us know your thoughts, if you’ll be taking the plunge with videos on Instagram and how this might affect your usage of Vine.

UPDATE: Video for Instagram is now available for Android, with the unfortunately caveat that “capturing videos is currently supported on devices with Jellybean (4.1) and above. All Android versions can already play videos on Instagram and we’re working around the clock to enable capturing videos on many more Android devices.”


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