Our intern Adam recaps Facebook’s new product announcement.

With anticipation building for Facebook’s product release announcement today, the rumors turned out to be true.  Instagram now includes video.

In a press event at Facebook’s headquarters, Instagram’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom introduced the new capabilities of the popular picture-sharing application.

This new feature allows users to film 15 seconds of video and share it with the world.  Just like with pictures, users can share their location, create a caption with hashtags, and upload it to social media websites.  There are also 13 filters which can make the videos look more artistic.

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In addition, users can choose a cover frame to use as the main display for their video.  This frame can come from anywhere in the video so that the cover does not have to be the video’s opening shot.

Instagram’s new feature now competes with Vine, Twitter’s video application.  Vine allows users to create and post video clips as well, with the major difference being that their videos have a maximum length of six seconds.  Systrom believes that Instagram’s 15 second videos strike the perfect balance.  They are not too long, but are not too short to constrain the beauty of the clip.

In anticipation of Facebook’s big announcement, Vine went on the offensive, according to TechCrunch.  Vine’s co-founders released a video hinting at the new features that they have been working on, including the ability to save a video clip as a draft to be completed at a later time.

While Facebook’s big reveal was the addition of video to Instagram, they did not stop there.  Those on the product development team worked with video scientists to create a new technology called Cinema.  Cinema provides cinematic stabilization for video, which means that it stabilizes the shaky videos that are inevitable when shooting from a handheld smart phone.

Instagram users can now stay connected at a whole new level, but the Cinema technology is just as cool, if not more exciting.  It allows anyone with a smart phone to create a video of professional quality.

According to Systrom, Instagram allows people to capture and share the world’s moments.  This has never been more possible than now.

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