The rumors were true, and the reality even better: Instagram founder Kevin Systrom announced today that the popular photo-sharing app will be getting video capabilities that place it toe-to-toe with Twitter's Vine, but with a few improvements that add a little twist to the game.
"We worked a ton on making it fast, simple and beautiful," Systrom said. "It's the same Instagram we all know and love, but it moves." Invites for the press event came with coffee stains on their corners, and now we know why—Systrom's example video was of a latte being made at a coffee shop. So, this is how video on Instagram works: hit the camera button located in the middle of the app's screen (as you usually would), and you'll see a new camera icon located to the right. This will take you to video mode, where all you have to do is simply hold down the record icon to capture video. Just like Vine, users can piece together different clips by letting go of the record button and then pressing it again to continue recording. With Instagram, though, you'll be able to create video of up to 15 seconds in length—more than double that of Vine. If you don't like a clip or change your mind, you can go back and easily delete them before uploading the final video.
Of course, it is Instagram, so video mode comes packed with 13 filters, with names such as Digpatch, Vesper, and Moon (which was apparently named after a dog.) "It's an Instagram touch," Systrom continued. "These are the little details that make a difference." You can also pick the frame that previews your video, so no more worrying about the awkward first frame that usually ends up being the first thing people see.
A surprise feature was Systrom's announcement that Instagram had worked with a team of video scientists to create "Cinema," a video stabilization feature that turns all your shaky clips into silky smooth cinematic features.
Video will display the same way photos do on the newsfeed, but will automatically play once you scroll to it. When the update is finally released—signs point to it being today— it will be available for both Android and iOS users, and those on the web. For a video example, click here to go to Instagram's Vimeo page.