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Facebook is adding video capabilities to Instagram, its popular photo-sharing app, in an effort to compete with the increasing popularity of Vine, the company said at its press event at its Menlo Park headquarters today.

“What we did to photos, we just did to video,” said Kevin Systrom, Co-founder and CEO of Instagram.

Video on Instagram, available on iOS and Android, will allow users to take 15 second clips of video with 13 brand new custom filters designed for video only.  Users are able to edit clips easily with a couple of taps on the screen, share video through social media like Facebook and Twitter, and choose their featured image for the clip.

Filters

Instagram, which has more than 100 million active members, was also updated with what Synstrom described as “cinematic stabilization for videos” or “Cinema,” offering even smoother shots when capturing video with a mobile device.

“Gorgeous stabilized video for your iPhones, it’s completely mind-blowing,” Systrom said. “Now you have the power of cinema in your pocket, this changes everything.”

Instagram has stagnated in popularity while Twitter’s Vine, which enables users to shoot six-second clips on Apple and Android devices, has exploded.  Systrom said they chose 15 seconds of video because it’s the right balance between not too short to stifle creativity and not too long where you end up waiting a lot of time to download.

According to Topsy Analytics, there were about 2.3 million links to vine.co shared on Twitter over a 24-hour period as of about 12:19 pm PT June 19. That’s well ahead of the 1.18 million links to instagram.com that Topsy counted in the same 24 hours.

Vine vs Instagram

Vine has gained in popularity because users can be more creative and portray more in a short video than they can with a picture or through a few sentences on Facebook or Twitter.  Videos can also be easily taken by a smartphone or tablet, and users say sharing on Vine is quicker than uploading video to YouTube.

 


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