Facebook is expected to announce tomorrow (June 20) that social photo app Instagram will gain the ability to shoot video. While still unconfirmed by Facebook officials, who, like most tech companies, love a good secret, video on Instagram won't be a surprise to tech media followers. However, it will be news to most of Instagram's 100 million users.
Why now? Facebook has a track record of copying big hits. Earlier this year it launched Poke, a Snapchat picture-messaging clone. And with the success of rival Twitter's Vine, the 6-second video app that recently surged ahead of Instagram in number of posts to Twitter, Facebook may want to beef up Instagram with video.
Some will undoubtedly cry "rip-off!" We're already seeing comments such as, "I think Facebook should be ashamed of themselves — That is pure sleaze," from blog posters. But others would welcome the addition.
Meagan Cignoli, a professional photographer in New York and an avid user of both Vine and Instagram, was thrilled to hear she may soon be able to upload her videos to Instagram.
"I love Vine just the way it is, but for Instagram, it would be cool if they use filters [for video effects]," Cignoli told TechNewsDaily.
She would also like to see the Instagram video allow users to add sound — something that Vine limits. Whatever sound is in the background while filming in Vine is what's heard in the video, which can make for some awkward Vines , such as garbled speech. She also wants Instagram to separate photos and videos into two separate feeds, which could soothe photography purists.
Vine, unlike other video-sharing apps such as SocialCam and Viddy, is hard to master. No one expects Facebook's Instagram to mimic Vine's stop-motion format. Vine users who have mastered the technique — Cignoli produces some of the best Vines around — make it look easy, but a complicated stop-motion video can take several days to get just right. Instagram filters improve most any photo and similar filters could do the same for video.
"There's too much pressure to make something clever on Vine," our 15-year-old expert (and my daughter) Elizabeth said. If Instagram adds video, she's all for it. [See also: How to Use Instagram Like a 15-year-old Girl ]
"I've been looking for a place to post just regular, funny videos," she said. "Because if I post to Facebook, no one will see them."