Last week the folks at Instagram, a popular photo sharing app available for Android and iOS users, rolled out an update to allow video sharing. The Facebook-owned Instagram became quite famous as the go-to app when taking selfies, pictures of food, and cats because of the variety of photo filters that are available. After two years of development, Instagram kept the simple interface but now allows users to upload 15-second clips with 13 new video filters and includes a new stabilization feature dubbed "Cinema" (currently available for iPhone only).
Over the weekend I had a chance to test the updated Instagram app on my Samsung Galaxy 3 and I have to admit that I was impressed. While Instagram lets you record up to 15 seconds of video, I noticed that I was recording shorter videos or multiple clips that were stitched together. Once the short video was recorded, I applied a complimentary filter, selected the cover frame and uploaded the video. I did notice that while the filters have different names, they failed to stand out from one another. I also noticed that the videos will only shoot in portrait mode; according to Instagram, landscape mode is coming soon.
Instagram is not the only player in the video clip making business. In October 2012, Twitter purchased the Vine app and initially was only available to iPhone users. Earlier this month, Vine was released for the Android market and has done well in terms of app downloads and usage. In comparison, the Vine app captures 6 second videos or clips, plays in Twitter feeds (but not very nicely with Facebook) and lacks the vintage filters.
Instagram and Vine are great ways for businesses to connect with new customers. At the library, we use Instagram to post photos (and now video clips!) of new materials, programs, special events and behind-the-scenes footage. Stay connected and follow us on Instagram - @SanduskyLibrary.