Why Instagram wants to rule videoJune 20, 2013: 2:54 PM ET
The popular photo-sharing mobile app now lets users capture video and apply filters.
FORTUNE -- Instagram isn't content with dominating the photo sharing space. At Facebook's (FB) Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters this week, CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom announced the ability to capture video in an iOS and Android update available for download.
The new video capability lets users shoot clips up to 15 seconds long, apply 13 new video filters like "Helena," "Dogpatch," or "Ashby," and use a video stabilization feature called "Cinema."
"Instagram is no single thing," said Systrom of the move. "It's a collection." Indeed, when Systrom and co-founder Mike Krieger developed Instagram nearly two-and-a-half years ago, they originally wanted the app to capture both stills and video. But they shelved the latter, arguing smartphones then weren't capable enough.
Systrom also shared some new numbers. Instagram now has 130 million monthly active users worldwide -- up from 100 million this past February -- who have shared 16 billion photos to date and "like" images 1 billion times every day.
Taking video is as simple as snapping photos. Once the app update is installed, tap the camera icon at the bottom right. Select the new video camera icon, then tap and hold the record button. Users can capture between three and 15 seconds of video in one clip, opting to stop and start recording by lifting their finger. (The new Cinema stabilization feature is turned on by default, though users can turn it off.) Afterwards, they can apply one of 13 video filters and choose any frame from the video -- or capture a new photo -- to serve as the thumbnail.
Videos appear in Instagram's mobile feeds, as well as the desktop site. And like Instagram photos, videos can also be directly viewed and played back on Facebook's News Feed and Timeline.
The company's expansion into video had been speculated about for some time now given the increasing popularity of Vine, the mobile video startup acquired by Twitter, which claimed 13 million users earlier this month. Vine's busiest users are reportedly tweeting over 14 videos a day. With today's announcement, the number of Instagram video users could quickly surpass Vine's given the photo-sharing company's already large membership. Video may also prove a valuable revenue stream down the line.
Systrom also emphasized Instagram's 15 seconds of video capture compared with Vine's 6-second maximum, a decision made after testing different time lengths. Explained Systrom: "It's an artistic choice."