July 1, 2013
Facebook recently announced its photo-sharing service, Instagram, is adding the ability to record and share videos. The service, called Video for Instagram is similar to Twitter’s Vine service, which allows users to record six-second videos. Rumors had circled for a few weeks prior speculating on the addition.
Those rumors turned out to be correct. At the press conference, Instagram announced that it would be adding video capabilities to its service. The update, already live, adds a button for video next to the app’s camera button. Users can hold down the video button to record, in a manner similar to Vine. But Instagram’s new service adds the ability to delete a previous clip if the user is unsatisfied with the quality. Vine does not currently allow this. Video for Instagram also allows 15-second recordings as opposed to Vine’s six-second limit.
Once users are satisfied with the video, they proceed to the familiar filter screen, where they can pick from 13 uniquely new video filters. After the video has been filtered, users can choose a “cover frame.” This allows control over which part of the video will show as a preview.
While the other features of the app are reminiscent of Twitter’s Vine, the most impressive feature of Video for Instagram is Cinema. Videos shot with a Smartphone tend to be shaky because they’re taken by hand. Cinema stabilizes videos shot with Instagram so they look as if they’ve been shot for “cinema.”
With Video for Instagram, Facebook is hoping to usher in a new age of sharing memories — instead of just sharing static photos, it is hoping everyone will be able to share quality videos with the world. While YouTube may have cornered the market on long-form videos, Facebook is hoping to corner the market on sharing moments in quick, 15-second snippets. In light of users leaving Facebook, the company is trying to bring people back to its brand away from other social networks like Twitter. This is a move that started with the recent redesign and their introduction of Facebook Home.
Video for Instagram also provides a unique marketing opportunity for businesses and a way to connect more personally with customers. By posting engaging video content on Instagram, businesses have the ability to capture users’ attention for more time than a static photo. As a user scrolls through his or her Instagram feed, videos automatically play when the user releases his or her finger. By creating videos that immediately grab attention, businesses can engage the user directly and build rapport with their brand.
I’ll certainly be using Video for Instagram in the future to share short personal experiences and promotions in a richer format than a single photo would afford. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, 15-seconds of video is worth a lot more.
Andrea Eldridge is CEO of Nerds On Call, which offers onsite computer and laptop repair service for homeowners and small businesses. Based in Redding, Calif., it has locations in five states. Contact Eldridge at www.callnerds.com/andrea.