Instagram Introduces Video And No They Don’t Own And No They Don’t Need It

Instagram Video

Today Instagram sent shockwaves through the tech world by introducing a new video feature that is making news, well, just about everywhere on the planet. If you don’t use Instagram, well, to be perfectly honest, that just makes you old. That’s right I said it. Instagram is one of the most successful startups of the last ten years and sold for $1B (yes billion) to Facebook, and the company only had 14 employees, boom!

The service has over 130 million active users and 40 million photos are posted on it every single day. There are 8,500 likes per second taking place on Instagram and over 1,000 comments per second and 26 of the top 100 brands in the world have over 10,000 followers on the popular photo sharing service. (data sources – Instagram and Simply Measured)

13% of users on the Internet use Instagram with their main demographic falling between the age of 18-29, and yes, that’s why I called you old up above so please don’t take it personally. (data source – While Instagram is one of the major startup  success stories of the decade Vine has been absolutely rocking it, reaching a very similar audience but doing it with short videos easily shared through twitter.

Less than a week after Vine released their app for the iPhone they overtook Instagram for the number of people linking to it on Twitter (source – Upstart Business Journal). Well it seems that Instagram has decided it’s time to put an end to that announcing Instagram Video today. You can see a demo of the new app below:

Instagram has decided to go with 15 second videos rather than 6 seconds which is the max time for a Vine video. When asked how they picked 15 seconds they said it was “an artistic choice” or, what I think they really meant was, “haha twice as long as Vine”. Of course there’s no right or wrong answer here and it is certain that the Instagram community is going to have a lot of fun with the new version of the app.

Now for a much smaller part of the story which might be interesting to some of my readers but really doesn’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things. Instagram does not own, this was registered some time ago and yes, it is a Trademark violation so can be taken from the cybersquatter that registered it whenever the heck Instagram wants it, which might be never. The domain appears to have been originally registered in February of last year by someone in Australia but is now under privacy protection.

As an app I don’t think Instagram will really care very much about this domain, nor do I think it’s going to get a lot of traffic since the people who use Instagram are looking for it on the app store. Vine launched on and  ended-up being one of the fastest growing apps in app store history. Still I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this domain make its way back to Instagram over the coming months.

Either way one thing is for certain, the short video app war has begun and Instagram and Vine are going to duke it out. It’s Twitter vs. Facebook and in the end a whole new way for people to share content. I’ve been a huge fan of Vine as many of you know and I look forward to using Instagram video, let the games begin!


{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Charlie June 20, 2013, 8:23 pm

    But how much revenue do they generate? Like zynga by the time they get ads in front of that fickle demographic they’ll be off to the next thing

    • Morgan June 20, 2013, 10:32 pm

      There are no stupid billion dollar companies IMO 🙂 Both Facebook and Twitter are yet to turn a profit but I don’t think they’re going anywhere.

      Excellent points @Ray and as usual, I agree.

      @Deano, remember most startups are looking for massive amounts of users and interactions and look at profitability much further down the road. Fab just raised $150M on a billion dollar valuation and they aren’t expecting profits until Q4 of 2014. That’s the difference between a startup and a small business. The hardware store down the street from you needs to be profitable, the startup needs lots and lots of users.

  • Deano June 20, 2013, 10:09 pm

    They are both in a word stupid. I am younger than you so there is no play on the “old” thing. Maybe we can get our youth to actually learn math and science and they can grow up to actually create something, instread of making 6 second videos of them picking their nose.

    Another product that will be monetized how ? That’s right we don’t need to make money, we run a start up that gets funding and then gets bought by a bigger start up that got more funding or went public.

  • Raymond Hackney June 20, 2013, 10:21 pm

    That’s an interesting point Deano, I dealt with a lot of start ups in 1999-2000 and many did not care about anything other then getting bought by a larger company that would buy them for many different metrics, the one metric missing ? Sales, Profit.

    It was only natural that Instagram would come out with a product, I was talking with someone in May that Facebook must be working on it, they cannot let Twitter and Vine run away with the new hot gimic. Monetization on a 6 second product is next to impossible because heck people don’t want to see ads when they are watching a 20 minute video on You Tube or an epsidoe on Hulu without the +.

    I have said for a long time the Internet is not magic, eventually stuff needs to be paid for but we are raising generations that don’t understand paying for music, movies and certainly adult content. I am not in the entertainment industry and I don’t agree with a lot of their practices but it has got to be hard to actually get paid for anything digital, its just too easy to get. There has to be a balance but even with saying that free is free.

    The traffic and the usage is what matters now, there may be a point down the line where someone says where is the profit ? But for now its not needed in their minds, you make a good point about monetization but Vine has been great sizzle for Twitter and Facebook knows they need to get that sizzle back for Instagram.

    Who will be next with 30 seconds ? Google, Microsoft ?

    The name certainly is a UDRP and makes you wonder why people bother, unless you can convince Facebook why pay $1500 for a UDRP, and buy the name for $500. Not a good way to do business imo.

  • Raymond Hackney June 20, 2013, 10:47 pm

    Good point about start ups vs small business. Now look it is high risk, when you are focused on users the way many companies that went bankrupt in 2000 were focused on eyeballs. I was in meetings where someone said when do you think you will turn a profit ? The Ceo said, Who cares ? We just need eyeballs. Now that is the true definition of a bubble. I was in a club where this kid was talking about an idea, I was there with some broker friends, a couple vc guys and a mutual fund manager. The kid wants $1million for his idea, the VC says send over a business plan and the kids says NO! The VC was like excuse me ? He said this is a great idea, I graduated from M.I.T. and someone will give me funding, the VC worried that he would lose out on the next hot IPO told him to come to his office the next day and he would have $1million check. I don’t think we are in that kind of craziness, because there were stocks that went up 20 fold just because they were adding an ecommerce component.

    Now there are plenty of people who believe there is a bubble in Social Media, you see the heat Zuckerberg took at the Facebook shareholder meeting, now his problem he is public, while you are still a start up you can get away with a little more fluff if the perception is the hot thing. I talk to guys in boring businesses that actually make money and can raise nothing, its not sexy, there is no sizzle. People see the profit now but they see no big growth curve or payday down the line, so they get in line to give Fab or Twitter money.

  • Kassey June 21, 2013, 4:38 am

    @Raymond, thank for sharing with us another perspective. You can lose money at the beginning but at a certain stage business must show a profit.

  • Robin June 21, 2013, 6:33 am

    These startup tech companies very much parallel the mining industry where a junior will discover a an outcropping of a mineral and raises money for increased drilling. They produce incredible numbers about the potential and pump, pump, pump. In rare cases they will be bought up by a true miner that actually make money if the prospect is of sufficient value. Now here is where things change , the senior mining company is expected by the shareholders to make money. If you want to explore a comparison between unprofitable tech startups or unprofitable tech companies in general and the mining industry then google BRE- X. Bre-x was also able to make many large investors and pension funds believe tat there was “gold in them there hills”. Being a Canadian (the Toronto stock exchange is the major place for junior mining companies to get financing in the world) and “older” Morgan I have seen this before and like the zen master my comment is “we shall see”

  • Louise June 21, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Go Morgan! Interesting articles and discussion on your blog, since you went, “start up!” 😉

    • Morgan June 21, 2013, 3:36 pm

      Thanks @Louise, always great to get a good discussion going!

  • Adam Yamada September 23, 2013, 8:46 pm

    Before you start calling other people old you might want to think about the fact you’ve been programming in PHP as long as it’s been around! 🙂

    • Morgan September 24, 2013, 9:19 am

      @Adam – haha, good point…doh! I’m old 🙂

  • Johnny October 13, 2015, 8:28 pm

    Instagram adds video because they want to innovate. @ adam did you read the article. I think it is way to far?


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