As many has predicted, today’s Facebook event is all about the introduction of video in Instagram.  I know many of you have updated your Instagram app, and probably have even tried to dabbled in this craft of moving image, but let’s just recap everything your need to know about the new Instagram Video:

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    ​1. Instead of 6 seconds you get with Vine, you will be able to take a video from as short as 3 seconds (minimum) up to 15 seconds.  Asked why 15 seconds, Kevin Systrom said that it was an artistic choice.  It’s not too short and not too long that it takes forever to download.
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    ​Each video can consist of as many clips as you want.  You can record each clip by starting and stopping the recording.  A progress bar indicator will show you where those clips start and end, and how much you still left.
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    ​These clips can be deleted and then rerecorded, though you can pick randomly which clip to delete, but at least you don’t have to throw away the whole video and start from scratch.
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    ​Instagram has created 13 new filters specially for video.  You may apply one of this filter after you finish recording.  You can see the video being replayed with the filter applied.
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    ​You can choose the cover frame for your video. A cover frame is one particular frame from the video which will be the picture in the front of the video.
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    ​When the video is viewed on the Instagram stream, it will play automatically, unless it’s configured not to do so. And unlike Vine, the video doesn’t loop indefinitely.
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    ​The video engine apparently include a new video stabilisation technology called ‘Cinema‘.  This one for me is still confusing in the way how it is implemented.  It doesn’t seem to me that you can turn it on and off while you are shooting.  And the only place where I can see it is when you select filters.  Even then I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to do because I tried it to leave it on and off with seemingly no effect to my ‘wobbly’ video.  If someone can explain this to me I would be really grateful!
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    ​The new feature is now available in iOS, Android and Web.  And this is where Vine is still lack behind, i.e. it doesn’t have a Web Profile, which make it a bit difficult to show off your video. When it’s shared to Facebook it will look like a standard Facebook video.
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    ​Last but not least, my number one complaint is that you can’t upload your own video! Though Kevin said that they might add it in the future.

​On my previous post I have stated that the impact of having video in Instagram is going to be huge.  The YouTube phenomenon has taught us that video is the next revolutionary step for online media.  We have also witnessed that when Vine, from which Instagram undoubtedly got its inspiration, came along it proved that 6 seconds video could be quite disruptive on social media sharing scene.

Instagram with a total of 130 million monthly users, Kevin had told us earlier during the announcement, presents a big number of viewing audience.  They are the Instagram users, readily groomed, ready to consume and share whatever video you will throw at them.  We are not even talking about Facebook.  With more than a billion active users, a successful viral Instagram video will go easily down in the history of Internet.

Brands and Companies will also utilize this newly found avenue for marketing.  Expect TV-like ads flying around your Instagram stream in not so distant future (thanks God you can change the auto-play setting).

And last but not least … Porn!  Let’s face it, sexy photographs are nice to look at, but sexy video … well that’s a whole different ball game, just check out some particular Vine ‘artists’ (if you know what I mean), or Keek app, or other similar Video social sharing app, and you will understand the issue (or would that be the ‘advantage’?).

Nevertheless, I reckon today is a cornerstone in the history of Online Media.  Instagram is not the first on doing this, and there have been tons of other apps that have tried video before, some even have better and more superior set of features compare to what Instagram is offering.  But just like what Instagram did with Photography, it could become the next Internet revolution.  Instagram democratised Photography, lowering the bar of entry for people to take beautiful photo (notice that I didn’t say mediocre photo edited with wannabe retro filter and slapped with pseudo-instant frame!).

Today Instagram has democratised video too.  Today everybody suddenly turn into Spielberg or Scorsese, albeit an amateur version of them.  But who knows? You can find talent and creativity anywhere, and sometimes you just need an opportunity to find them.  Instagram video might prove to be one of these opportunities.

I wonder, how long will it take until we will have The Best Mobile Video category at the Academy Award?

And the winner is …

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