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Facebook adds video to Instagram app

June 21, 2013

Following the launch of Twitter’s video-sharing app, Vine, Facebook-owned Instagram has announced that users will be record and share 15-second clips by tapping a video icon in the app. They can also apply filters to videos to add contrast, make them black and white or different hues.

Speaking at a launch event held at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, said it was the “same Instagram we all know and love but it moves”.

Vine, which launched in January, has 13 million users and lets people create and share six-second video clips. Instagram has 100 million users, up from 20 million when Facebook bought the company more than a year ago. If the initiative works, Facebook’s move could propel mobile video sharing into the mainstream, according to Systrom.

Eden Zoller, principal consumer analyst at Ovum, suggests that Facebook launching video features in Instagram would make sense. “Since acquiring Instagram in 2012, Facebook has given the distinct impression that it does not know what to do with it, having made little progress with any significant enhancements to the service. Given the importance of mobile and video for Facebook, the prospect of video features in Instagram should come as no surprise.

Given the popularity of Twitter’s Vine service, Zoller says 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. Facebook will need to come out with something compelling, particularly in light recent lacklustre new initiatives such as Facebook Home, and also ensure that the video features on Instagram are in keeping with the ease of use and simplicity that have made the core photo sharing service so popular. But new features aside, Facebook still needs to come up with a strategy for how to monetise Instagram which so far it has failed to do,” he advises.

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