Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has done what everyone said it would do today. It unveiled its video sharing feature on its Instagram app. The feature enables users to record videos that are 3 to 15 seconds in length. It also enables them to add the filters which Instagram has become known for.
Features Of Facebook’s Video Sharing Feature
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom unveiled the changes, reports the BBC. The new feature enables users of Android phones and the iPhone to record their videos and them string them together to create a sort of video collage. Then a customizable filter can be applied to the video.
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There are 13 filters to choose from. Some of the filters can make the video look black and white, while others can add a blurring effect or change the video in some other way. Users of the iPhone also have a cinema feature, which keeps the video steady in the event that the phone’s camera was shaking while the clip was recording.
Did Facebook Meet Expectations?
Analysts said earlier today that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is effectively playing defense against competitors, namely, Twitter’s Vine service, the social network needed to go beyond a simple video sharing app in today’s announcement. However, it appears like the company fell short of analysts’ hopes. Some are questioning whether the addition of filters will be enough to make Instagram’s feature more popular than the others that are already in use. After all, the company isn’t the first to offer video filters on its service.
There are a few things worth noting about Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s new video sharing feature. First, the clips can be up to 15 seconds, compared to Vine’s limitation of 6 seconds. Also Instagram’s videos can’t be looped, while videos shared through Vine can be looped.
Facebook Still Playing Catch-Up
USA Today’s Scott Martin notes that Instagram’s video feature isn’t the first area where Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is playing catch-up on other companies. The social network followed up the popular Snapchat app with Poke, which is similar in that it self-destructs videos and photos a certain amount of time after they are sent and viewed.
Facebook is also battling Google+ as it tries to add some of the same features offered by that network, vying for valuable advertising dollars. Just this month, it also added hashtags to its site.