Facebook puts Vine in crosshairs with video coming to Instagram

Facebook unveils another horribly kept secret, which also sets up another battle between the world's largest social network and Twitter.


MENLO PARK, CALIF. -- Last week, it was supposedly a Google Reader replacement. Four days ago, it was said to be video sharing on Instagram.

The correct answer? Instagram really is getting video, setting up another battle between Facebook and Twitter.

So far, 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram with more than one billion likes everyday.

On a stage styled like a daytime talk show, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg popped up and gave the immediate nod to Instagram.

Acknowledging that the product still has a way to go, Zuckerberg described it as "a big idea" in the making for more than a year that a "small team" has been working on.

However, perhaps adding to more suspense in the room, Zuckerberg turned over the mic to Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom make the actual introduction.

Building up to the reveal, Systrom said that Instagram was designed to "capture and share the world's moments."


So far, 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram with more than one billion likes everyday. Systrom added that approximately 130 million people use Instagram each day too.

"That's a lot of pictures of coffee," Systrom quipped to light laughter from the press.

Systrom posited that the next step for the photo sharing app is to bring video to the platform, effectively putting Twitter-owned Vine in the crosshairs.

But Systrom suggested that the Instagram team hasn't lost perspective -- or the grasp on the reality that Vine has a big headstart.

"We need to do to video what we did to photos. And it's got to fit in," Systrom asserted.

The first step is trying to outpace Vine as Instagram video will surpass Vine's time limit of six seconds. Instagram video is promising 15 seconds of moving pictures.

Furthermore, capturing and uploading video to Instagram is almost identical to the photo sharing process -- meaning there isn't a learning curve. Videos will also post to the Facebook Timeline just like photos can.

"We need to do to video what we did to photos. And it's got to fit in," Systrom asserted.

One could argue that when Vine rolled out to the masses, it was reminiscent of Instagram, but not as easy to publish on as its parent company's micro-blogging mobile app.

Systrom summed up that the new feature is "everything we love and know about Instagram, but it moves."

But quality control might be the saving grace for Instagram to push it above and beyond any video sharing (or even recording) mobile apps out there.

Systrom highlighted "Cinema," a video recording stabilization feature that smooths out the abrupt transitions between seconds and frames.

When asked about the business model and questions surrounding advertising on Instagram, Systrom replied that the addition of video "is really driven by consumer demand and not business."

"We're perfectly happy with how businesses are engaging on Instagram, which is organically," he continued.


As of today, there will be 13 brand new filters custom designed for video only as the feature comes to both Android and iOS devices immediately.

Windows Phone owners will have to wait indefinitely as Systrom said the team is looking more at the platform, but he admitted there are no plans to announce anything for Microsoft's mobile platform any time soon.

Images: James Martin, CNET


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