Either you knew it was coming, or perhaps you didn’t it. Instead of launching an RSS reader, as many had speculated, Facebook recently announced that Instagram will now allow you to record 15-second videos, a direct and tremendously provoking response to Twitter, which last year launched Vine, an app for sharing brief videos and that works as a social network integrated with Twitter itself.
This appears to be the birth of a lovely rivalry, not between Facebook and Twitter, which have been rivals for some time, but rather between Instagram and Vine, two services that have a lot of force in the field of social networks. The former is much more superior than the latter, and up until now the field had only been explored by Twitter, which no longer supported a preview function for Instagram photos (something that affected one third of its presence on Twitter), but does for Vine videos.
Here’s what’s going on: The new update to Instagram adds the ability to take 15-second videos (Vine only does 6 seconds), and then add filters to them, a trademark that is probably the biggest strongpoint in comparison to its competitor. There is another difference, and it is that Instagram has an option that allows you to delete segments of video, which is still not offered on Vine, and is very useful for editing your videos.
Once you have made the video, you can apply one of the thirteen available filters to the recording, all of which follow Instagram’s original style, and then select a frame to be the cover image of the video, and upload it as if it were a photo. The video will appear on your timeline just as photos do, but with an icon that sets it apart. And honestly, it’s surprising how smoothly it records, uploads, and edits the filters, that is, at least on Android.
Many analysts suggest that the position of a large social network is tricky, and that it could experience setbacks such as those that Yahoo and MySpace experienced in their day if they don’t stay on top of the trend, and do more little things, covering very specific services. This move has guaranteed Facebook a spot in another market, and has strengthened Instagram’s brand by harming that of its most direct rival. How will Google respond? And what will users do? Because it’s a lot easier to use one app than using two…