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Instagram Adds Video Feature So You Can Now Show Us Clips of You Drinking Your Cocktail

So when does Vine add photographs?
Here it is. (Photo: Instagram/Facebook)

Here it is. (Photo: Instagram/Facebook)

The update we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived, and you can now post videos to your Instagram.

“Video is a complex medium … it’s hard to edit, it’s hard to manage, it’s hard to upload,” said Instagram’s Kevin Systrom at Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ today. In fact, he added, he and his cofounder considered including video initially, but they couldn’t do it with the “speed, simplicity, and beauty” of photos. So now, team Facebook to the rescue!

You’d think Mr. Systrom had never even heard of Vine.

The app now allows you to record 15-second videos, and yes, it has filters–13 of them, brand new and designed just for video. (“We love naming our filters,” Mr. Systrom informed the crowd, just being a regular old human.) A video camera icon will now appear next to Instagram’s iconic camera button. The new version will be released today,  simultaneously on iOS and Android.

“130 million people, day one, are going to have access to video in the same way they have access to pictures,” Mr. Systrom. (Ditto brands: Lululemon, Burberry and Charity Water have all already released ads.) “This is the same Instagram that we know and love, but it moves,” he added.

Mr. Systrom ran through the many dorky product specs: you can delete slices of your video without chucking the whole thing; you can make any frame the cover photo; and it doesn’t loop constantly, either. There’s also something called Cinema, which allows you to stabilize your mundane photos of sunsets. But basically, it’s Vine on Instagram.

Not that you’ll hear anyone at Facebook admit there might be some crass competitive motivations at work, here: “You see, Instagram is no single thing. It’s a collection of ideas and inspiration, best captured and shared, and that’s why to us, our mission is to capture and share the world’s moments,” said Mr. Systrom.

“We believe by doing that, we make the world a better place.” If they just happen to bulldoze Vine in the process, well, them’s the breaks.