MENLO PARK: Instagram, the photo sharing app owned by social media giant Facebook, has launched a video sharing facility which performs a similar function to that of Vine, the Twitter-owned app, as it seeks to tap into the online video advertising market.
Video on Instagram enables users to post short video clips of up to 15 seconds, almost three times as long as the six seconds offered on Vine, with filters and editing options available as well as a "cinema" mode to reduce the shakiness commonly seen on smartphone-shot videos.
The initiative is widely regarded as part of Facebook's moves to attract more advertising, this time in the fast-growing online video sector, where Vine has already had some success with leading brands, such as adidas, Pepsi and Gap.
The Instagram team has already tested the water by giving several fashion brands, including Burberry and Lululemon, access to the app ahead of its launch.
But not all observers were convinced it would succeed. "Facebook is behind on video; everyone's miles behind YouTube on social video," Nate Elliott, a Forrester Research analyst, told the Wall Street Journal.
And while some saw Video on Instagram as Facebook's attempt to kill off Twitter's Vine, others felt they were not in direct competition, arguing that they served very different audiences.
"Vine is like fast food, while Instagram video is more like eating in a nicer restaurant," Ovum analyst Jan Dawson told PC World.
And Brian Blau, an industry analyst with Gartner, suggested that the apps were more about the efforts of the two social networking sites to retain and engage users.
"Vine isn't necessarily Twitter, and Instagram isn't necessarily Facebook, but that doesn't mean these apps aren't part of the bigger collective [sites]," he said.
Vine has indicated that it will soon be introducing some new features, raising the possibility of what Forrester Research analyst Zachary Reiss-Davis described as "a leapfrogging competition" between Twitter and Facebook.
Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, PC World, Unruly Media; additional content by Warc staff