Video On Instagram Debuts

By David Cohen 

A hat tip to all of those who predicted that Facebook would introduce video sharing on Instagram at its press event at its headquarters in Menlo Park Thursday, as Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Systrom took to the stage to debut Video on Instagram.

Video on Instagram is available immediately as part of Instagram for iOS version 4.0 and Instagram for Android version 4.0, and its main features are:

  • Users can upload and share 15-second video clips.
  • Instagram offers 13 video-only custom filters.
  • Users can select cover frames for their videos, rather than the typical process of the first frame of videos being used.
  • Cinema, a video-stabilization feature.

After Zuckerberg said, “We’re really just getting started here with this product,” he yielded the stage to Systrom, who said while preparing to showcase Video on Instagram:

When I think about what Instagram is, I think about moments, and I think about visual imagery. One of the most amazing things about us humans is our ability to create tools to remember.

Our mission is to capture and share the world’s moments. We believe by doing that, we make the world a better place. It’s really important to us.

Systrom offered the following statistics about Instagram:

  • More than 16 billion photos have been shared.
  • There are more than 1 billion likes on Instagram every day.
  • Instagram now has 130 million monthly active users.

He then further described the thinking behind Video on Instagram:

Simplicity really matters in these products. Video is a complex medium. If it’s going to work on Instagram, which everyone knows for its simplicity, it’s got to be perfect.

It wouldn’t be Instagram without it being beautiful. We need to do for videos what we did for photos.

You can capture a lot in 15 seconds of video, which is what we did. It’s the correct balance between not too short, which stifles your creativity, and not too long, which takes a long time to download.

This is the same Instagram we all know and love, but it moves.

Elaborating on the Cinema video-stabilization feature, Systrom said:

Filters certainly help to make your videos look more beautiful, but we wanted to go an extra step. What if you could take video just like the pros?

We teamed up with a handful of the world’s leading video scientists, and we created something awesome. We call it Cinema.

Screen captures from the press event follow:

Instagram’s video capture button:

Instagram’s video filters:

Choosing cover frames for Video on Instagram:

A video from the Instagram blog: