Source: Instagram Will Get Video On June 20

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Apps, GT, Media, Mobile, Social
Tags: , , , ,

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We’ve been working on getting more details on a
press event that Facebook is having this week.
Earlier, we wrote it could launch a news-reading app,
but we have since heard more details that point to
something else entirely. On June 20, a source says
Facebook will unveil that Instagram, its popular photo- sharing app, will begin to let people also take and
share short videos. Call it the Vine effect. We are still looking for more information because we
understand that Facebook has not wanted the details
of June 20 to leak out — so this could be an
intentional blind alley. But if the Instagram video
report is true, you could say the event invite itself —
sent by snail mail, coffee cup stain charmingly in one corner — is a red herring of its own. Earlier reports about Instagram getting video provide
some indication, though, that this is not coming out of
the blue. Most recently, about three weeks ago
Matthew Keys broke a story noting that such a
service was getting tested internally. At the time,
there wasn’t any information on when it would be coming out, nor whether there would be filters, nor
whether this would be in a separate app or part of an
Instagram update. The videos would be between five
and 10 seconds in length, he noted. Getting video on Instagram is a move that would
make sense. Specifically, it looks like a direct
response to the rising popularity of video-sharing
services, namely Twitter’s Vine. It, and others like
Viddy, Cinemagram and Socialcam, sometimes get
described as “Instragram for video” apps. The Vine app — which lets users take six seconds of
video footage on an iOS or Android handset and then
share those clips to Vine’s own network, Twitter or
Facebook — has shot up in popularity since going
live in January. After Twitter debuted an Android
version of Vine in the beginning of June, usage reached a tipping point: shares of Vines surpassed
those of Instagram photos on Twitter — usage that
has only diverged even more since then: Of course, you could argue that part of the reason is
because Twitter no longer shows inline views of
Instagram photos — that may have affected how
many Instagram photos have been shared to Twitter. When those Instagram/Twitter cards disappeared, we
noted that part of the reason for the move — taken by
Facebook/Instagram, not Twitter — appeared to be to
drive more direct traffic to Instagram itself, a popular
social network in its own right, with over 100 million
monthly active users, rising sharply since Facebook bought the company last year for $715 million. Putting in a video service could serve to further that
strategy even more, before new-but-already-popular
services like Vine get more of a foothold. It will mean
one less app and social network for users to build up,
and, for those who like to take and share videos,
another reason to visit Instagram. You can see how something like video could be a very sticky
complement to its photo service. There could be another reason for adding video to the
service: it’s a very attractive medium for advertisers
and marketers. Of course, Instagram is not running any ads yet — in
fact, Facebook and Instagram got a lot of heat over
changes in their terms of service in December over
how it could implement advertising services in the
future — so much heat that they rolled back the ToS
and apologized. And in Facebook’s last quarterly earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a point of
noting that while big brands were interested in
advertising on Instagram, for now there were no plans
to implement this. (That’s not to say that Instagram is
not already a substantial marketing platform for
brands.) And with 100 million+ users, you could argue that
there may not be enough scale there yet to really
monetize ads properly. Adding in video is laying the
groundwork — and providing one more engine to grow
that Instagrammer base.

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