With more than 130 million users, Instagram unveiled a new feature to its social photo-filtering app -- the ability to record 15 second videos. But there's already an app -- Vine -- that records just a few seconds of video, so why are people so excited about Instagram video?
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom speaks during a press event at Facebook headquarters on June 20, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. Systrom announced that Facebook's photo-sharing subsidiary Instagram will now allow users to take and share video. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Here are a few notes:
- Vine records only six seconds and Instagram records up to 15.
- Instagram extended its iconic filters to also apply to videos.
- Instagram built in a stabilizing feature that cuts down on the smartphone shake factor.
But even with these differences, many tech experts are saying Instagram's new video feature won't lead to Vine's demise.
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said Thursday that users will be able to record and share 15-second clips by tapping a video icon in the Facebook-owned app. They can also apply filters to videos to add contrast, make them black and white or different hues, similar to how users currently filter photos.
"This is the same Instagram we all know and love but it moves," he said at an event held at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.
Watch this video showcasing the new Instagram feature:
For an example of such an Instagram video, check out this one by RedVine licorice.
But even though the Vine and Instagram video might seem similar, many are pointing out the differences between the two that could allow both to live in their own social media spheres.
Chris Brogan, CEO and President of Human Business Works, wrote on his website:
People’s first reaction is that because Vine has a six second limit and Instagram has a fifteen second limit that Instagram will do better. Twitter has a 140 character limit and Facebook has a reasonably endless character allowance, and Facebook has more people using it, so there’s some understanding why you think that way.
But no, Instagram will not kill Vine. People who like Vine and Twitter a lot will use that. People who like Instagram and Facebook a lot will use that. Some people will bleed over and do everything.
Instagram's new video feature is demonstrated at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, June 20, 2013. (Photo: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
CNET's Daniel Terdiman too called comparing Vine and Instagram like comparing apples and oranges. Terdiman interviewed frequent Vine user, actor and filmmaker Adam Goldberg, about how he thinks Instagram's new feature will impact Vine:
"It's a completely different technology," Goldberg told CNET. "That Vine aesthetic is not possible, unless they decide to make more touch-sensitive....I don't know why they even bothered to have the feature to keep your finger pressed down on the screen, because it doesn't have that stop-action quality that [like Vine] lets you create weird Lynchian dreamscapes."
But Goldberg wasn't saying that Instagram video was a failure. Rather, he argued that the new tool was simply a very different animal than Vine. Essentially, while his Twitter feed was full of people expecting him to say that one was better than the other, or that six seconds was a better time limit than 15 seconds, or vice-versa, he feels the two services are basically apples and oranges.
To use the video feature, Instagram users who've downloaded the latest version can tap on the same camera icon they use to snap photos. A new video camera icon will appear on the right side. Tap it and a screen with a red video button will let you record clips of sunsets, kids running in parks or co-workers staring at their computer screens.
A Facebook employee demonstrates the new Instagram video option during a press event at Facebook headquarters on June 20, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. Facebook announced that its photo-sharing subsidiary Instagram will now allow users to take and share video. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The app will record as long as your finger is on the red button or for 15 seconds, whichever comes first. Not unlike Vine, taking your finger off the button will stop the recording, allowing you to shoot the scene from a different angle or record something else altogether. Once you have 15 seconds of footage, you can play it from the beginning and post it on Instagram to share with others.
Given Vine's popularity, "it is perhaps more surprising that Facebook has not introduced video for Instagram sooner. There is no doubt Twitter will move quickly to up the ante on Vine and this could undercut Facebook's efforts with video on Instagram," said Eden Zoller, principal consumer analyst at Ovum, a technology research firm, in an email.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.