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June 20, 2013

Cinematic-Quality Video Comes to Instagram

Facebook-owned Instagram unveiled its new 15-second video capability today, confirming rumors that the popular site would take on video app Vine.

What came as a surprise, however, is the tool launched along with the new video capability. Dubbed Cinema, the video stabilization tool enables users to produce professional-grade clips, no matter how shaky the video may be initially.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said his staff collaborated with “a handful of the world’s leading video scientists” to produce Cinema.

tumblr_inline_moozdpISg01qz4rgpIt’s “cinematic stabilization for your videos that will change video forever,” said Systrom during a press event today at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

“Now you have the power of cinema in your pocket. This changes everything,” added Systrom, who avoided technical explanations of how Cinema works.

The online photo-sharing and social networking service’s mission — to “capture and share the world’s moments” has been enhanced with Video for Instagram, Systrom said, adding that, until now Instagram’s core principals — speed, simplicity and beauty — were “really hard” to accomplish with video.

When Instagram was created in October 2010, he said, devices simply were not capable of running a quality video app. Now, two-and-a-half years later, Video for Instagram is available on Android and iOS.

When users of the app go to take a photo on Instagram, they will notice a movie camera icon that they can tap to record a video up to 15 seconds in length. Next, they can choose from 13 filters built specifically for video to enhance the clip.

“When you post a video, you’ll also be able to select your favorite scene from what you’ve recorded as your cover image so your videos are beautiful even when they’re not playing,” Systrom said.

Instagram for iOS 4.0 is available for download in Apple’s App Store and Instagram for Android 4.0 is available on Google Play.