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Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has officially unveiled the new video recorder for Instagram.

Designed to prevent Vine and competing apps from taking over the world of mobile video, Instagram will now allow users to record 15-second clips and apply 13 different filters.

Kevin Systrom, one of the creators of Instagram (who joined the Facebook team after the $1 billion acquisition last year), told reporters that the company chose to limit the videos to 15 seconds because it was just the right balance. These clips would not be too short and would not constrain the person making the video, nor would they be too long to be downloaded quickly.

Acknowledging that not everything can be fit into 15 seconds, Instagram will allow users to easily delete portions of the video that they do not want. They can then replace the deleted portion with something else, or simply shorten the video and post it as is.

Systrom did not spend a lot of time demonstrating the new filters, but he did say that they were designed from the ground up for video. While the existing Instagram filters work well for photos, videos required something different.

As of June 2013, 130 million people use Instagram every month. Thus, Systrom could not contain his excitement in revealing that all 130 million of those users will gain immediate access to these video features.

While Android users are included in that bunch, it should be noted that Systrom demonstrated almost all of the features using Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5.

Right now, 16 billion photos are shared every single day, resulting in one billion Facebook Likes every 24 hours.

In bringing video to Instagram, the developers wanted to focus on three key things:

  • Simplicity -- Systrom told reporters that "simplicity really matters in these products."
  • Beauty -- Similarly, he said that it "wouldn't be Instagram if it wasn't beautiful" and that he and his team "need to do for videos what we did for photos."
  • Finally there's the community factor. "Day one, 130 million people with access to record the world's moments as they happen in real-time," Systrom repeatedly boasted.

Finally Systrom demonstrated Instagram's most impressive feature yet -- a video stabilizer that allows users to film smooth clips, even while moving.

This feature should apply to any smartphone running Instagram. Up until now, consumers had to buy special smartphones -- such as the Lumia 920 from Nokia (NYSE: NOK) -- for similar capabilities.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Facebook Instagram Kevin SystromNews M&A Success Stories Tech Best of Benzinga


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