Instagram launches 15-second video sharing

Instagram launches 15-second video sharing with 13 filters and ‘Cinema’ stabilization

Instagram has branched out from photographs and is now letting people record and share short videos. The photo-sharing app limits the duration to 15 seconds, and users can add effects similar to those already available for still pictures, such as improving contrast or changing colours.

The move follows the growth of video-sharing Vine, which is owned by Twitter. Launched in January it has already notched up 13 million users who can share bite-sized, six-second clips. The extra length of Instagram’s videos appears to be a move to trump its rival and offer users more room to be creative.

There is also a handy delete feature in which users can trash the last segment of their video if they make a mistake. This may be enough for perfectionist Vine users to switch over to Instagram right away. It also features a custom cover frame that just makes sense. Now users can select a preview image that others see before watching the video, choosing a specific frame through a flipbook tip storyboard stream located along the bottom of the screen.

Instagram’s user base has grown massively since Facebook bought the service more than a year ago, growing from 22 million to more than 130 million.

Fans who have downloaded the latest version – available now on iOS and Android – will see a video camera icon and can record footage as long as they hold down the record button.

13 filters are available and iPhone users also have a stabilisation feature to try to improve shaky phone clips.

Is 15-seconds better than 6, or just too long?

Most important to the comparison of Instagram video and Vine is how the former gives users 2.5x more video to play with per post. But is this necessarily a good thing? Where does this magic 15-second figure come from?

This certainly seems like a play by Facebook to attract brands to advertise using the service. 15-seconds is a standard length for pre-roll advertisements on videos online, and a number of major brands have already jumped on the Instagram video bandwagon.

It will be interesting to see whether regular users embrace the full length of the videos too. The minimum video length is 3-seconds, so it is plausible that users will find the perfect micro-video length themselves.

Already, 15-seconds certainly feels a bit too long especially when all people are doing is testing out the service by taking videos of the desk in their office. However, I’m sure people become more adventurous and creative with it in time.

Initial success

Instagram has enjoyed a successful launch of its new feature, with users uploading 5 million clips within the first 24 hours of it being available to use. The new addition to the app caused Facebook servers to receive 40 hours of video footage per minute at its highest point.

It received so many video clips in its first eight hours that it would take a year to watch every single one. The high number of users reportedly caused capacity issues, with some finding the service slow to load.