Always wanted to post up a 15 second video on the net using your Instagram app? Well now you can. The company revealed on Thursday, that its 130 million monthly users of the app will now be able to shoot and share 15-second videos and use one of 13 special filters. But is this a case of epic win, or epic fail? Just what are you going to film for 15 whole seconds besides a barrista making coffee?
The new video feature is available to all iOS and Android Instagram users, everywhere. And the company have said that it is a free update to software. The application will still look the same, but it now features a small movie icon that will redirect the user into video mode.
The changes were announced by Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom during a press event at the headquarters of Facebook, which bought Instagram last year.
Systrom said, “It’s everything we know and love about Instagram, but it moves.”
Instagram are competing with Vine, the popular Twitter-app that lets users share six second video clips.
Vine has skyrocketed in popularity in the six months since it has been launched and it has attracted more than 13 million users.
Many of the six-second videos have a unique look and feel, employing fast cuts and stop-motion animations to tell quirky little stories.
On Instagram, the videos can be between three and 15 seconds long and can include any number of individual video clips. The 13 new filters can be used after you’ve filmed your short masterpiece they’ve been developed by an artist specifically for Instagram. The new video feature even has an image-stabilization feature to even out shaky videos shot on the go.
Currently videos can only be shot from within the Instagram app, and there is no way to upload existing video from your phone’s camera roll. Instagram decided on the 15-second limit after testing different times. Systrom calls it the right balance “between not too short that it constrains your creativity” and not so long that you have to wait a while for a file to upload.
The popularity of Instagram is beyond question, 130 million people can’t be that wrong. In the two and a half years that Instagram has been going, they’ve hosted 16 billion photos, according to co-founder Systrom.
The Facebook driven, Instagram reveal of their new fifteen second video feature seems to be tailor made for the younger users of social media and it might turn out to be an epic win with that demographic, where the older user may just label the whole thing as a fail.
While it appears that the photo hosting site have taken a lot into consideration, the 15 second time limit of the video seems a bit phone driven. Most cell phones have the capability to film in 15 second increments already and they are just matching their new video feature to the current limitations.
But will this be a winner with users of the application? The idea of hosting short videos is not a new one. Twitter with their current Vine app can boast that users post 1 billion likes a day, and 130 million people use the service each month, according to Systrom.
But Twitvid, which is possibly the spiritual predecessor to Vine and now the video application on Instagram, kind of “fizzled” out after it was first introduced back in 2009. The little, then new, curiosity enjoyed a brief spark of acceptability and then pretty much vanished while it underwent a major overhaul in 2011.
Systrom has chosen the direction of concept discovery to describe the new application. While there is no denying that people love to share snippets of their lives and activities on the internet via a number of photo hosting sites, it does seem to be a little optimistic to think that the new fifteen second video feature is going to be an epic “win” with consumers.
Instagram has some competition from Vine, in that the Vine application’s co-founders have stated the the app will have the ability to save drafts and feature “Vine splicing” that is very reminiscent of the splicing capability of the new Instagram app.
It has been pointed out that this new Instagram app is just another way that Facebook can conquer the mobile device market. While that allegation is no doubt true, it remains to be seen just how many budding Steven Spielbergs are ready to use the new application.
The addition of the video app on Instagram is an exciting announcement and one wonders how long it will take for the “average” consumer to start making fifteen second pornography. Or for those celebrities who haven’t already learned their lessons about sharing things on their cell phones to get an action packed fifteen second clip posted on the net.
But only time will tell if the new Instagram fifteen second video feature will be a win or a fail. If nothing else, it will open up a new window for the generation that feel that they must share every little experience with the world through pictures or a very short video.
By Michael Smith