Facebook adds video to Instagram in challenge to Twitter’s Vine
FACEBOOK has laid down a challenge to Twitter, by introducing video on its Instagram photo-sharing service.
The new feature marks the first major change to Instagram since Facebook paid $1bn for the company just over a year ago, and will allow users to post video clips up to 15 seconds at a time, much like the Vine feature Twitter added earlier this year.
Unlike Twitter, Instagram will allow users to edit clips and add its hallmark frames and filters to give videos a retro feel. "We need to do to video what we did to photos," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said at a press event at Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters.
The move marks the first time that Twitter and Instagram will battle each other on exactly the same turf.
The two services started life as very different beasts, with Twitter allowing users to post messages, 140 characters at a time, and Instagram focusing solely on pictures. Jack Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder, was one of Instagram's early investors.
However, as the two companies have grown in popularity, they have started chasing the same audience. Instagram, which has 130m members on the platform, is growing at a rate of 10m users a month and will present a significant challenge to Twitter's own advance, at a crucial time for the company. Twitter is widely expected to make an initial public offering next year and will need to demonstrate that it can keep on growing, at the same time as monetising users, if it is to win investor confidence.
The introduction of videos to Instagram is the second new front in Facebook's intensifying rivalry with the micro-blogging service this month. Last week, the social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg introduced hashtags, echoing the categorisation tool that has become one of Twitter's hallmarks.