Video for Instagram is here. Now you'll be able to shoot, lightly edit, and upload videos up to 15 seconds long to the platform — and it actually works quite well.
When you're prompted to snap a photo, a new video-camera button will appear alongside it. Using it is simple: Hold it down to record; lift your finger to stop.
Unlike Vine, which records video in a similar fashion, you can delete "chunks" of video at a time. Simply tap the blue section you want to delete, then hit the red trash can button that appears.
Uploading an actual video has all the familiar menu options Instagrammers should be familiar with, including hashtagging. But you'll also get 13 different kinds of video filters with the requisite kitschy names — Vesper, Stinson, Gingham, etc.
You'll also be able to select a "cover image" for each video (which you can't do on Vine). When a video appears in the scroll, it'll look like a regular picture save for a small "play" button in the upper-right corner. To watch the video, simply tap it. You can even watch it from your desktop. (Here's a sample vid we quickly shot in the office.)
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says the company consulted with "film scientists" (whatever that means) to build in-camera stabilization. He called the technology "Cinema."
That's it. My first impressions: Interacting with the video media is pretty unobtrusive — the cover image blends into the scroll, and you don't have to click on anything if you don't want to. And obviously phone owners with faster 4G connections benefit the most. (Video isn't quite instant yet, but it's getting there.) If I were Vine, I'd be more than a little worried considering Instagram's 130 million users.
To get it, just update your Instagram app on your iPhone or Android. Happy shooting!