Mike Isaac

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Instagram Introduces a Moving Experience: Video


As AllThingsD previously reported, Instagram’s video product is here.

The company launched the new feature at an event at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters Thursday morning.

“At our core, visual imagery is everything. It’s in our DNA. It drives us,” said Instagram founder Kevin Systrom. “We need to do with video what we did with photos.”

“What we’ve done is make Instagram better,” Systrom said.

The new product focused on a few specific cornerstones, according to Systrom, with simplicity, beauty and community being paramount.

That’s why the addition of recording video is fairly lightweight inside the app. To the right of the photo button, you’ll see a video-recording button, where you’re able to choose to record up to 15 seconds of video. Also included are 13 filters, designed specifically for the new video feature.

The new product, rumored to be in the works for quite some time, comes just six months after the release of Vine, Twitter’s six-second mobile video-capture application. In the days leading up to Instagram’s new product launch, Vine was active in previewing a number of unreleased features in the works.

instagram1_zuckBut Systrom took pains to differentiate the new feature from its competitor. Along with longer recording time and the addition of filters, Instagram’s new video product includes “Cinema,” technology to stabilize any video you shoot, to eliminate the wobbly effect you see while taking movies on the move.

And, when asked directly why a 15-second limit is better than the six-second Vine, Systrom wasn’t as combative as he could have been.

“I don’t think that one is better than the other,” Systrom said of Vine versus Instagram “[15 seconds] is that ‘Goldilocks moment’ that feels just right.”

Systrom shared some impressive growth stats. Over the course of Instagram’s history, 16 billion photos have been shared on the service. Instagram sees more than one billion “Likes” on the service every day. And, at last count, Instagram hosts 130 million monthly active users.

Something interesting to note: Systrom said there isn’t any integration planned between Instagram’s hashtags and Facebook’s hashtags, which the social giant launched recently on its network. A curious omission — at least for now — considering that hashtags are widely used on the photo-sharing application, and including them in Facebook’s hashtag search could easily surface them on the social network.

Another omission: Any sort of direct monetization. Systrom said the company wasn’t going to introduce advertising to the service today, and gave no indication of when it would show up (but we just know it’ll be there eventually).

He was sure to make clear, however, that user videos won’t be directly used in ads whenever a monetization plan arrives.

“Photos and videos — and I want to say this very clearly — they’re your own,” Systrom said, no doubt in reference to the major dust-up the company had six months ago over a sudden change to its terms of service.

The updated app will be available for iOS and Android devices beginning Thursday.

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