And the epic rivalry between Twitter's Vine and Facebook's Instagram thickens. According to TechCrunch,Facebook will unveil that Instagram, the popular filter-happy photo sharing app, will begin to let users record short videos — an obvious jab at the 6-second video-sharing app Vine. After all, if Instagram gains video-sharing capabilities, perhaps some folks could decide to ditch Twitter's Vine and use Facebook's Instagram full-time instead of switching between separate apps.
Details on how the video side of Instagram would work are still unknown but the news will be unveiled by Facebook on June 20, according to TechCrunch's source.
Here's what you should know about this major change to the social-media landscape.
1. This is a Response to Vine's Surging Popularity
Vine has shot up in popularity since going live in January. After Twitter debuted an Android version of Vine in June, usage has reached a tipping point, and shares have surpassed those of Instagram photos on Twitter. Vine has become widely adopted among iOS and Android users, sitting at the No. 4 of 5 spots of each platform's "Top Free" app charts.
2. Instagram Photos No Longer Show Up Inline on Twitter
In December, Instagram disabled the ability for its photos to appear inline on Twitter — forcing users to click through to Instagram. By allowing its images to show up on Twitter, Instagram gave Twitter users no incentive to visit its own site or mobile app. Shortly after, Twitter launched Vine, which recently surpassed Instagram in total shares on both Twitter and its archenemy....Facebook.
3. Instagram Videos Would Be 5-10 Seconds Long
We are not really sure exactly how the Instagram video app is going to work. After all, all that Facebook has officially unveiled is that "A small team has been working on a big idea." But insider scoop reveals that the video app will allow people to record between 5-10 seconds. Vine currently allows 6-seconds of recording. Will Facebook try to one (or two or three)-up Vine? Others wonder if Facebook's app will allow users to edit their videos with the same iconic instagram filters.
4. This is an Attractive Medium for Advertisers and Marketers
Instagram is not running any ads yet. Actually, Facebook and its baby — Instagram — got a lot of heat over changes in their terms of service in December over how it could implement advertising services in the future. In Facebook’s last quarterly earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a point of noting that while big brands were interested in advertising on Instagram, for now there were no plans to implement this. This could be it! Perhaps Nike or Apple will begin to upload creative short clips to Instagram?
5. Facebook Just Stole the Hashtag from Twitter, #OhSnap
Oh the mighty hashtag — the unofficial symbol of Twitter. In case some of you forgot, Facebook has taken something else from Twitter not too long ago. The hashtag made its clickable debut last week on Facebook. Before then the octothorpe was limited to Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.