Facebook is upping the ante in its fierce battle for eyeballs with Twitter, announcing video for Instagram at a big event Thursday in the Bay Area.
The Instagram video offering is a direct shot at Vine, and on first blush it seems to significantly one-up Twitter’s video service.
Instagram will let users record up to 15 seconds of video, as opposed to Vine’s 6 second limit.
It also features 13 filters created specifically for video, much like the filters popularized by Instagram’s photo sharing app.
“What we did to photos we just did to video,” said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom at the announcement.
Instagram video also lets user edit clips, and it offers a special Cinema feature that stabilizes shaky video.
Vine, meanwhile, offers no filters or editing capabilities.
Vine has attracted more than 13 million users since its launch six months ago. But with 130 million monthly users, Instagram has a huge built-in audience. Perhaps more importantly, Vine users can’t post directly to Facebook while Instagram has a direct link.
Video for Instagram is easy to use. You push a red button and it records as long as your finger is on the screen. Lifting your finger off pauses the recording, much like Vine.
Another noticeable difference is the Instagram video stops after playing once, while Vine videos play in a constant loop.
CBS radio tech analyst Larry Magid gave it a spin today and likes what he sees.
“It looks pretty cool to me from early testing and what I saw at the demo,” Magid said.
He’s particularly impressed with the image stabilization feature.
“That’s really important. If you’re chasing your kid down the street trying to take a video and you’re shaking, it’s great to be able to even out those shakes.”
Magid also gives Instagram props for its ability to share directly with Facebook, unlike Vine, which he says should help boost Facebook with younger users who’ve turned to other social networks.
Video on Instagram is available now for Android and iOS users.