Sean Morrow
June 20, 2013 7:33 pm

Big news from the world of sharing cool little tidbits of your life: Instagram just added video!

The Facebook-owned tech company said in a blog post,

For a taste of how Instagram video works, check out the premiere of HelloGiggles co-founder Zooey Deschanel’s first Instagram video right here!

Pretty cool, right?

Of course instant comparisons are being drawn to video app Vine.

Some features that Instagram video has that Vine is lacking are the ability to delete your last clip, make drafts, and share to Tumblr. On the other hand, Vine allows you to mute your videos, does that cool looping thing, is friendly with Twitter, and can be embedded anywhere (a lacking in Instagram that I just noticed when I tried to embed Zooey’s video up above in this very post.)

Instagram video will let you record video up to 15 seconds, doubling Vine’s 7 and then also adding 1; a fact that can be looked at in two ways: 1) more is always better, right? Or 2) the limitation inherent in Vine is part of what makes Vine cool, like how poets embrace Twitter for it’s draconian brevity (Patricia Lockwood and kimmy [a real live ghost] are two great experimental Twitter poets who come to mind.) The limitations of the medium are what make its results so great.

And of course Instagram has to have filters: they’ve added 15 cool new filters specifically tailored for video, filters being part of what made Instagram so popular in the first-place (even though some of Instagram’s best photographers are strictly filter-free.)

People are criticizing the added feature, saying “Instagram is for photos, not video!” which is infinitely perplexing to me, because I mean… just don’t use the video feature, right?

I think there is room for lots of apps that ostensibly do the same thing. It’ll just slowly dissolve into communities that use the apps for different things. As it stands, Vine will probably be more for goofy things and comedy, while Instagram will veer towards the artistic, quote Instagram itself “you can keep sharing beautiful content on Instagram.”

So for still images Instagram is great for people who are interested in serious photography, but in a unique and simple medium. People probably just upload straight to Twitter if they have a funny picture or want to share information quickly, but use Instagram if they want to share some beauty. Similarly, Instagram video will probably be used for making “beautiful” videos, befiltered and #nofilter.

Vine will continue to be used to create some of the most hilarious video on the web today, like Will Sasso’s lemon routine, anything Riff Raff creates, Jerome Jarre, or a personal favorite of mine, LA comedian Alison Stevenson who does tons of great weird vines. The fast cuts, time limitations, and ease of use make Vine great for micro-sketch comedy, or a way to simply deliver a joke.

There is room for both apps, despite their similarities. We live in a cool time where we’re kind of constantly inventing micro-media, like a Tweet is a subset of writing, Vine is a subset of film (and I’m sure some purists will be furious at that but whatever.) These micro-media not only make creativity easier and more accessible, but add new rules and will change the way we look at stuff. It’s pretty cool.

Images via ABC

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