Facebook unveiled on Wednesday a new Vine-like video service for Instagram with 15-second videos.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced the updated Instagram together while on stage at the social network's 20 June press event in California, where they further introduced 13 new filters just for video.
"This is the same Instagram we all know and love," said Systrom. "But it moves.
When recording a video, users can stop and pause to create a series of clips. This functionality is very similar to Twitter's video-sharing service Vine. Instagram users can further choose a cover photo from an auto-generated selection of stills to customise how their videos will appear in the stream.
Videos auto-play just once in the Instagram stream, unlike Vines which play in a GIF-like loop, and they appear in both the stream and users' profiles. Users must tap on videos to replay them. Instagram also added a new feature called Cinema - or, as Systrom called it, "gorgeous, stabilized video that puts the power of cinema in your pocket."
The new Instagram is available starting today for iOS, Android and the web. Check out the gallery below for more images.
Facebook sent snail mail invitations to its event last week, with only a few recipients having an idea as to what the social network would unveil. There have been many rumours of an Instagram video service for some time, though, with suggestions of it including 5- to 10-second capture functions and filters.
Facebook, which owns photo-sharing service Instagram, previously only let users capture still images with Instagram. Vine, on the other hand, which Twitter released earlier this year, is all about recording short videos. Moreover, since launch, Vine has become increasingly popular and grown to 13 million users; so many assumed Facebook would want to get in on the action.
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, for instance, reported Facebook would "unveil pieces of its own Vine-like video service, under development for months, that would allow users to create and share brief video clips."
All Things D, a sister publication to The Wall Street Journal, sang a similar tune, but it asserted that the new service is a part of Facebook's Instagram: "Sources said that Thursday’s event will solely be focused on Instagram’s new video product and there will be no other Facebook product reveals."
Instagram already has an active user-base of 130 million users. Therefore, adding video would easily allow it to barrel ahead of Vine at full steam.
A live-stream of today's event is available on Facebook's newsroom hub.