Instagram has added a small but very significant new feature in Wednesday’s latest update: the ability to upload previously filmed video into the app.
Instagram announced the 4.1 update on its blog Wednesday afternoon, adding a few more updates as well. Users on iOS devices will have an option to automatically straighten their photos taken via the Instagram app, while those using Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will now have the ability to shoot and view video. Previously, users were restricted to only shooting new video in-app, while Ice Cream Sandwich users were unable to shoot video at all.
"We're happy to announce that we've developed a brand-new technology that brings you straight photos instantly. When you take a photo with the in-app camera, you can now tap the new Straighten icon and your photo will correct to be level -- it's that simple," Instagram said in a blog post. "The straightening tool also includes a slider so you can rotate and adjust any photo -- including ones imported from your photo library -- as much or as little as you'd like."
Obviously, Instagram’s latest update is yet another effort to crush its biggest competitor, Vine. While Vine lets users to record their own 6-second video loops, it features relatively few editing options and does not allow users to import previously recorded video.
While Instagram has a much higher userbase of 130 million active users, it has good reason to be worried about Vine. According to charts from App Annie, Vine was the most-downloaded app in June (excluding games), up two positions from the month before. By contrast, Instagram was the fifth-most downloaded non-game app in June. Vine is currently one of the fastest-growing apps on the marketplace, and represents a serious threat to Instagram’s seeming monopoly on photo-sharing social networks.
Instagram version 4.1 is available now for iOS and Android on the Apple App Store and Google Play.