Facebook finally has a competitor to the popular video service Vine. At a press event Thursday, Instagram revealed a new feature for that allows users to record and share 15-second videos — over twice as long as Vine’s — to be viewed along with photos in followers’ Instagram feeds.
The appropriately named Video on Instagram is available via an icon on Instagram apps for iOS and Android. It has 13 filters — designed for video only — that change the appearance of videos just as Instagram filters alter the colors of pictures. It also has a feature called Cinema that automatically stabilizes a video, turning a shaky recording into a smooth one.
Video was always in the cards, Instragram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said at the event. The company’s three priorities are speed, simplicity and beauty. When Instagram launched in 2010, those three goals were possible with photos “but it was really hard with video” given the devices of the time.
Instagram has had a meteoric rise. In October, Facebook acquired the small startup for $1 billion two years after it launched. Today Instagram has 130 million monthly users who “like” 1 billion photos each day. Users have shared over 16 billion photos to date.
The launch of Video on Instagram comes at a good time. In late May, Vine, the service acquired by Twitter last year that records and shares six-second videos, surpassed Instagram in daily shares on Twitter. With the help of a new version for Android, Vine now doubles the sharing activity on Twitter.