There are few secrets on the Internet so it was no surprise when Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, announced today that the app has been updated to include video capture. Systrom explained that when he and co-founder Mike Krieger created Instagram out of Burban, a Web-based application for posting photos and videos, they "left video behind" because of speed barriers that are no longer a problem with today's mobile devices.

With a maximum recording time of 15 seconds, Instagram video is aligned with the short form video format, but exceeds Vine's 6 second clips. According to Systrom, "You can capture a lot in 15 seconds. It's the right balance between not too short and not too long where you have to wait a lot of time for it to download." 

While Instagram video can record only 15 seconds total, multiple clips can be captured by pressing and holding the record icon, releasing the icon to pause and then recording additional scenes until the 15 seconds maximum has been reached. A delete button will erase the most recent clip.

A stabilization feature, which we assume is an algorithm of some sort, named Cinema has been added to help smooth the jerky movements of handheld video capture. The samples shown seemed to work but only to a certain extent so we won't be expecting miracles. 

Thirteen new filters were developed by an artist specifically for video with a range of styles that are previewed live. Which is a good thing since none of the names - Moon, Ginza, Brooklyn - are very descriptive. 

Thirteen new filters designed for video are available in Instagram, with live previews.
A cover photo can be selected as the first image seen when the video is shared.

Users can also select the cover image, choosing which frame people see first when the video is shared. Once the video is complete, captions, hashtags and location can be attached via a separate screen. The video can also be added to a photo map. From there, the clip can be shared via email and social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and foursquare. There is no save feature, however, so be sure to share or email the clip so you don't lose it.

Although the video cannot be saved, it can be shared via email and social networks.
The video can also be added to a photo map from within Instagram.

The update to Instagram is available now for iOS and Android. 

On another note, it was interesting to see reports this morning of teasers from Vine about upcoming features prior to the Instagram press conference. We'd rather not speculate at this point but it seems likely that Vine has something in the hopper.