Facebook adds video to Instagram to create 'Vine on steroids'

Instagram: Facebook adds video to the app
Instagram: Facebook adds video to the app

Facebook is introducing video functionality to Instagram in a move that will pit it against the Vine video service owned by rival Twitter.

Videos on Instagram can be up to 15-seconds long, compared to Vine’s six-second videos. Users have access to 13 different filters that add a stylised layer onto video content.

The news comes only a week Facebook revealed it was launching Twitter-style clickable hashtags on to its social network in order to drive more conversations on its main site.

In a blog post, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has reassured users that they will own the rights to the videos they create and can control how they are distributed by specifying who has permission to view the content.

Systrom’s reassurances over who owns the content comes after a user backlash in January forced Instagram to make an embarrassing u-turn after it changed its terms of service to make the service more attractive to advertisers.

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

Eden Zoller, principal consumer analyst at Ovum, believes the introduction of video to features to Instagram is overdue and will force Twitter to hit back with updates to its Vine service.

Zoller said: "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. 

"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."  

Robin Grant, global managing director of We Are Social, describes Instagram Video as "Vine on steroids" and claims the ability to add filters "packs a massive punch…in the battle of video one-upmanship".

Grant predicts the ability to make inexpensive clips look professional using Instagram’s filters will prove an attractive proposition to brands because they have previously been "on the receiving end of criticism for shaky, unprofessional looking Vines". 

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