Facebook, which bought Instagram for $715 million, will unveil the new feature at an event the social network is hosting on Thursday, according to a source quoted by TechCrunch.
According to the source close to the matter, on June 20, Facebook will unveil that Instagram, its popular photo-sharing app, will begin to let people also take and share short clips of video of 5-10 seconds in length.
You may call it the Vine effect. Vine is the Twitter-owned video service that lets users capture six-second video clips for quick and easy sharing.
Since its public release for iOS in January. Also after Twitter debuted an Android version of Vine in the beginning of June, usage reached a tipping point: shares of Vines surpassed those of Instagram photos on Twitter — usage that has only diverged even more since then.
This may be due in part to Instagram removing a function that allowed images hosted on the app to appear in the body of tweets.
The Facebook event on June 20th has promised to unveil “A small team working on a big idea” but so far there are no confirmed reports of what this could be.
If Instagram did add video functionality then it could bolster the product’s success as a social network in its own right, rather than simply a photo-sharing add-on for other sites.
There are several clues suggesting that video may be the next step for Instagram, which now boasts of 100 million active users.
On one hand, Facebook has prevented Vine from using its friend-finding feature. By doing this, Facebook looks embed users into its platform first, rather than a service like Twitter.
Of course users can still share Instagram photos on Twitter, but users need to click the link to see them, thus people will spend more time on Instagram.
On the other hand adding video-sharing feature can be a strategic step for Facebook.
With talks of adding auto-play video ads into the News Feed, Facebook could be looking to familiarize users with the concept. With more users sharing short videos, video ad units may not seem as intrusive, writes Inside Facebook.
A rumour about internal testing of a video service related to Instagram began three weeks ago, where it was claimed by technology blogger Matthew Keys that 5-10 second clips would be added, though without details of whether this would be within Instagram or on a separate app, says the Telegraph.
“While the video feature is being tested internally, it is unclear if it will launch to Instagram’s 100 million monthly active users, who collectively upload around 40 million photos per day,” Keys wrote. “It’s also unclear if the app will have Instagram’s hallmark filters.”
Of course, Facebook hasn’t commented one way or another on the rumors, and the social network could be unveiling just about anything, from a fancy new piece of hardware to RSS feeds.
The latter guess comes from developer Tom Waddington, who speculates that Facebook could be trying to fill the vacuum left in the wake of the closure of Google Reader, writes CSMonitor.