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Will Instagram video weed out Vine?

Facebook has unveiled its new video feature for Instagram, five months after Twitter launched a very similar video app called Vine. Can the rival services co-exist?

“They can,” according to analyst Greg Sterling, because Instagram video and Vine serve different audiences, he argued.

The new Instagram feature lets users record videos three to 15 seconds long and apply one of 13 new filters. They can also edit their videos by deleting clips as they record them. And on iOS, the app has a “Cinema” mode to reduce shakiness and produce more professional-looking video.

Vine is a more stripped-down service that records three- to six-second videos, with no filters, editing or image stabilization. Once a video is recorded, users can either save it, upload it or start from scratch.

Vine lets users easily share their videos on its dedicated social network, as well as on Twitter and Facebook; Instagram offers built-in sharing support for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and also Tumblr and Foursquare.

“Vine is like fast food, while Instagram video is more like eating in a nicer restaurant,” said Ovum analyst Jan Dawson.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, he said. “Sometimes you just need to grab a burger and get out the door,” he said. “For Vine, it’s like, ‘share and forget.’”

Others said Instagram and Vine don’t serve different audiences as much as they represent two different social networks and their efforts to retain and engage users.

“Vine isn’t necessarily Twitter, and Instagram isn’t necessarily Facebook, but that doesn’t mean these apps aren’t part of the bigger collective [sites],” said Brian Blau, an industry analyst with Gartner.

Social media networks realize that features around photography and video are things they need to have, Blau said.

“Part of what’s going on here is who these companies are and the reach they have, and I think that could really make a difference in terms of the popularity of these features,” he added.

“There’s a lot of room for both Vine and Instagram video, at least in the short term,” said Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst with Forrester Research.

“This might be a case where the site that creates the best content wins, and the major social platform providers are all of a sudden becoming content providers,” he said.

So will Instagram video, with all its bling, better enable the creation of that content than Vine?  Read More


Instagram could make a video move



(Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

Wildly popular photo app Instagram may be looking to grab some social status in the video arena.

Facebook sent out an invitation saying, ” A small team has been working on a big idea” in a move to tease interest in a new product announcement scheduled at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters on Thursday.

Facebook’s Instagram has seen sizzling growth on interest in mobile photo sharing, and a logical step would be to stake out videos next.

Shares of Facebook rose 1.7%, to $ 24.02, amid the rumors.

The social-networking giant reported in its first-quarter earnings that Instagram has attracted more than 100 million users, up from about 22 million when Facebook acquired the company.

App videos have become an Internet sensation as heaps of startups try to become the next mobile version of YouTube. Short ones from Vine, purchased by Twitter in October, have made 6-second videos a new message form.

Facebook and Twitter compete for social attention and have added features such as streaming radio music services to keep users glued in. Facebook last week borrowed a page from Twitter’s hashtags convention of providing search around certain subject areas to launch hashtag support on the world’s largest social network.

Facebook has a history of trying to match the features of rivals, points out analyst Greg Sterling. “They have seen the success that Vine has had and do not want to have Instagram lose favor because it does not offer that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to do something that one-upped it.

The prospect of Instagram launching a video service saw increased speculation in media reports on Monday.  Read More

Facebook-Instagram Deal Reportedly Probed By FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may have opened a probe into Facebook’s purchase of photo-sharing app Instagram.

The social network in April announced plans to acquire the app for $1 billion in cash and stock. According to Facebook’s pre-IPO S-1 documents filed with the Security and Exchange Commission, the company expects the deal to close in the second financial quarter of 2012.

But a new report posits that the deal may be delayed.

According to the Financial Times (paywalled), two sources said that the FTC has begun an antitrust investigation into the deal.

“The competition probe – routine for any deal more than $66m – is likely to take six to 12 months, according to several experts,” writes the FT.

Facebook has said it will pay Instagram $200 million if the deal falls through.

FTC Spokesman Mitch Katz told The Huffington Post, “The FTC doesn’t have anything to say about this. We haven’t even said that we’re the agency responsible,” pointing out that the Department of Justice also has oversight over these matters. “The pre-merger review process is entirely non-public. Unless an early termination is granted.”

A Facebook rep declined to comment.  Read More

With 12M+ Downloads, Scan Launches Scan-to-gram, A New Way To Follow People On Instagram

Screen shot 2012-05-10 at 4.29.24 PM

Three guys from Provo, Utah set out on a mission to make QR codes, those boring pixellated, black-and-white squares come alive — in other words, to extend their functionality by turning them into realworld “like,” “follow,” and “buy” buttons. And it’s been working. In February, Scan closed a seed funding round from Shervin Pishevar, Google Ventures, CRV, Start Fund, Social + Capital, Ludlow Ventures, and more. The company moved their operations from Utah to San Francisco, and is currently sitting at just over 12 million downloads across iOS devices.

How did it become one of the top downloaded QR code scanner in just over a year? Because, beyond the basic scanning functionality offered by a host of iOS and Android apps, Scan offers a variety of services and features that let SMBs and enterprise companies create mobile optimized QR code, NFC, and other tech experiences to let users can QR codes with their phone and immediately “like” products or businesses on Facebook, follow on Twitter, check in on Foursquare, etc. Check out how businesses are using it hereRead More

Facebook turns umbrella company via Instagram purchase

Facebook is acquiring photo-sharing app Instagram for approx. $1 billion

Facebook is acquiring photo-sharing app Instagram for approx. $1 billion Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 28-year old founder and chief, has found himself in a rare and enviable position. Now that his social network has been valued at $100bn, he can comfortably afford to wipe out any of its competitors with large purchase prices and lots of change to spare.

Instagram, with its 30 million users, the majority of which are young, (compared to Facebook’s ageing membership as its popularity grows amongst parents and grandparents) has been scooped up by Facebook for a mere one per cent of its market cap.

The move heralds a new era for the social network. Zuckerberg has personally pledged to not only keep the photo-sharing app open; he has said it will continue to work with other rival social networks, such as Twitter and location-sharing service Foursquare.

Using his own Facebook profile to announce the deal, which is the first of its size for the social network, Zuckerberg stressed that it would be business as usual for Instagram’s 30 million users: “We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

“We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.”  See Full Post

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