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Facebook Unveils 15-Second Instagram Videos

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom Speaking - P 2013
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Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom

"We need to do to video what we did to photos," said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.

As rumored, Facebook revealed their answer to Twitter's Vine on Thursday: Instagram on video. 

"We need to do to video what we did to photos," said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who unveiled a feature allowing users to film 15-second clips to share along with 13 customizable filters for video-only. The photos will show up in a cover frame on Instagram profiles just like images do.  

STORY: Mark Zuckerberg Unveils Revamped Facebook News Feed 

Systrom also talked about a feature called Cinema that promises to stabilize Instagram clips -- to eliminate shaky handheld video -- which he hopes will change mobile video. "We teamed up with a handful of the world's leading video scientists and created something really awesome," he explained. "Gorgeous, stabilized video for your iPhone."

The new features were added under the criteria of simplicity, beauty and community, he said.  

Instagram on video has been seen as a competitor to Twitter's introduction in January of an app called Vine, which allows users to capture six-second clips to post in their feeds. Twitter said in early June that there were 13 million people using Vine. 

Mark Zuckerberg spoke earlier at the event, noting that Instagram's team of 12 people has been "tripled" in size since the acquisition. He relayed that 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, and there are more than 1 billion likes on photos every day. 

Systrom lead by asking and answering an existential question about what defines Instagram. "It's our collective belief that the world is better off captured and shared more permanently. That is what Instagram is," he said.