Facebook announced Thursday that it will add smartphone video-sharing to its Instagram photo-based social network, in a move that challenges Twitter’s popular Vine service.
“We need to do to video what we did to photos,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said while unveiling Video On Instagram at a press event at Facebook’s headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park.
Instagram video apps tailored for iPhones and smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software feature 13 filters for special effects and post to people’s Facebook pages the same way pictures do, according to Systrom.
Video snippets will be 15 seconds or less, since the team saw that length as a “Goldilocks moment” not too long and not too short, according to the Instagram co-founder.
Systrom said that Instagram has topped 130 million users and all of them will have “access to recording the world’s moments in real time” from Day One.
Instagram engineers worked with leading video scientists to develop a “cinema” feature that stablilizes shaking that is typical in smartphone video.
Facebook acquired Instagram last year. The original price was pegged at $1 billion but the final value was less because of a decline in the social network’s share price.
Twitter earlier this year launched Vine, a service that lets people share video snippets up to six seconds long.