With over 130 million monthly active users, and over 1 billion daily likes, photo sharing app Instagram is definitely a busy application. Now with its new feature – the 15 seconds videos – the app is set to attract a whole lot of traffic.
On Thursday, Facebook’s popular Instagram photo-sharing app announced the addition of the new video feature. Much like its competitor Vine, which is owned by Twitter, Instagram now lets you record and share short videos using a few taps of a finger on a mobile device.
Vine, which launched in January, has 13 million users and lets people create and share 6-second video clips. Instagram has 100 million users, up from 20 million when Facebook bought the company more than a year ago. If users like it, Facebook’s move could propel mobile video sharing into the mainstream, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said.
To use the video feature, Instagram users who’ve downloaded the latest version can tap on the same camera icon they use to snap photos. A new video camera icon will appear on the right side. Tap it and a screen with a red video button will let you record clips of sunsets, kids running in parks or co-workers staring at their computer screens.
The app will record as long as your finger is on the red button or for 15 seconds, whichever comes first. Not unlike Vine, taking your finger off the button will stop the recording, allowing you to shoot the scene from a different angle or record something else altogether. Once you have 15 seconds of footage, you can play it from the beginning and post it on Instagram to share with others.
A feature called “cinema” adds stabilisation to the videos so they don’t look like shaky amateur shots. Systrom called it “completely mind-blowing”. Right now, only owners of the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 can shoot video using this feature.
Facebook still hasn’t said how it will be able to make money from Instagram, as it has not introduced ads on the service. But online video ads are growing, and it’s likely only a matter of time before they arrive on Facebook — and at some point, Instagram. Research firm eMarketer estimates that the US digital video advertising market will grow 41 per cent this year, to $US4.1 billion from 2.9 billion in 2012. The mobile video ad market is much smaller, though eMarketer expects it to more than double this year to $US518 million.