Gird your loins, Vine. There’s a new micro-video sharing service in town. Sort of. Not really new, but new to video. Just—it’s Instagram, okay?
Instagram and Facebook held a press event Thursday to unveil the much-talked-about video addition to the photo-sharing network. And this is how everyone feels about it:
Now, when you open the Instagram app to take a photo, you’ll see a video camera icon. When you tap it, it’ll open into video mode and you can record up to 15 seconds of video. By comparison, Vine lets users record up to six seconds of video. Why 15 seconds and not six seconds, or 30 seconds?
“I think it’s an artistic choice. In our testing, we tried a bunch of different lengths, and we just came out at 15 seconds. Not too long to upload on mobile, but not too short to get the story you want,” said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.
Should Vine be concerned? Totes. Not only does Instagram’s video feature come with 13 filters, it also comes with unique video stabilization technology called Cinema, so even though you’re shooting the video by hand on your phone, there’s zero wobble.
And, of course, Instagram has the user base needed to get the ball rolling effectively. Currently, some 130 million people are using Instagram. That’s up from 20 million people when Facebook acquired Instagram last year. To date, over 16 billion images have been shared and Instagram photos are getting one billion likes per day.
The only downside to the video feature (for now) is that you can’t import videos from your camera roll into your Instagram account, which I do routinely because it’s easier to open my camera app on the fly than it is to open my Instagram app and sign into my account on the fly.
In some sort of preemptive strike-type move, Vine teased some new features that should be coming to the Twitter-owned micro-video sharing service soon, including possibly being able to create and save Vine drafts prior to sharing them. Additionally, it looks like there’s going to be a redesigned video stream which puts the camera icon at the bottom center of the screen and stays static as you scroll down in the stream.