Instagram video: Everything you need to know

Instagram has just done the inevitable and pushed out an update for its app that includes video. It's a move that comes as no surprise, particularly given the recent successes of Twitter's own Vine app.

So how does it work? While it's a fairly basic tweak, there is actually quite a bit of depth to what Instagram has done with video. Read on to find out how you can get the most from it.

Recording video

Instagram's new video service allows you to record up to 15 seconds of video at a time. It's simple to get started, all you need to do is tap the movie camera icon on the photo screen to enter video mode. From there, you just hit record and you're away. Just like Vine, you can stop and start video by holding or letting go of the record button.

Editing video

What's unique about Instagram's video offering is what it lets you do once video is shot. Instagram is known for its use of filters and things are no different here. Launched alongside the app are 13 new video-centric filters for you to play with. These can be applied in post production to give your video that retro feel. A nice touch is that Instagram also allows you to pick a still from the video to use as the cover image for its post in the Instagram feed.

Stabilising video

Rather special for the Instagram app is it's ability to stabilise video already shot. You can go back through your camera roll and use something called Cinema, which will take any wobble or shake out of a video and give it that glide-cam smoothness that smartphone videos usually lack.

Sharing video

Once you have shot your video, then you can upload it straight to your profile, just like with stills. Instagram has been careful to change very little about its feed in order to incorporate video. As such they are embedded straight into your feed and then can be watched by others when they tap on them. The usual suspects are all available to share, with Facebook being involved naturally. Twitter though isn't allowed, that's Vine's territory.

Watching video

As we said previously, video is viewed by taping on it and is embedded into your feed just as photos from friends are. They can be commented on in just the same way as well.

How can I get it?

The Instagram video update is available now and should be pushed out as an update to those who already use the service, on both Android and iOS. If you are yet to use Instagram but fancy giving it a go, then it can be downloaded for Android here and for iOS here.