Thursday, June 20, 2013

Video for Instagram: Longer videos, non-looping and image stabilization all challenge Vine

As rumored, Facebook on Thursday unveiled a new feature on Instagram, video sharing. Video on Instagram is available on both iPhone and Android, and allows users to shoot 15-second videos, apply filters, and share them to Facebook, as well as rival sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.

When running the app, users will see a video icon on the right side of the camera screen (left image, above). Tap that, then on the following screen you hold down the shutter button to begin shooting video.

Release the shutter button, and the recording stops. Tap and hold the shutter button again, and recording begins again, just like in Vine. As in Vine, there's a short limit on how long a video can be; the longest video you can shoot is 15-seconds, whereas Vine limits your videos to six seconds.

If you're thinking there was some four-letter (V-I-N-E) inspiration for Video on Instagram, you'd likely be right.

You can pick up your finger to stop shooting, then tap and hold the shutter button to start shooting video again, just like on Vine. The longest video you can shoot is 15-seconds, whereas Vine limits your videos to six seconds.

Unlike Vine, though, the clips are non-looping.

After you're finished recording, you can either use a conveniently placed delete button to eliminate your latest video, or you can move on. Tap the Next button and you are brought to the filters screen, where you can choose from one of thirteen brand spanking new filters.

In addition, a new button that looks like a camera inside of parentheses activates "Cinema" mode, which is basically an image stabilization and cropping function.

Next, you can go through your video's frame-by-frame to choose a "Cover Frame" (think of the image you see statically when looking at a YouTube video). Finally, you reach the Share screen, which is a button-for-button clone of the Instagram photo sharing screen (no surprise here, as why mess with success).

You can add a location and caption, and then share the video to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.

The Instagram app was reportedly updated to version 4.0.0 in their respective app stores. However, we noticed that when we installed -- fresh -- Instagram on our Galaxy S4, we received version 3.5.3. In addition, a number of the reviews of the Android version said that -- even though they received 4.0.0 -- there was no video button on the camera screen.

It's unclear, though, if the reports were from users seeing the same problem as us -- who, unlike us, didn't bother to check their version number.

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