Facebook unveils video feature for Instagram

video on InstagramFacebook introduced video for its popular photo sharing application Instagram in an attempt to go to head-to-head with rival Twitter.

In keeping with its status as king of stylized photos, Instagram will feature 13 filters for video. “What we did to photos we just did to video,” said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom at Facebook’s headquarters here. Twitter’s Vine short-form video service, launched in January, has amassed a fast following for its quirky and raw six-second videos.

The updated Instagram app with video is available on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play. In addition to its signature filters, Instagram will enable 15-second videos, custom cover frames and image stabilization.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in April 2012 as a way to keep its users hooked on new features weeks before the social media network became a publicly traded company.

The Instagram video launch is “critically important for Facebook because younger audiences’ engagement with the social network is growing much less than overall growth,” said Erich Joachimsthaler, CEO of Vivaldi Partners Group.

More than 60 million people in the United States regularly watched video on their phones last year, according to research firm eMarketer. Almost 75 million are expected to do so this year.

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