Prepare To Be Outdone By Pros And Brands, Instagram Just Enabled Video Uploading

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Anyone can shoot a good photo with Instagram. Directing a good video is a whole other ballgame. But until now there was an even playing field. Everyone had to shoot their mini-movies in the app. But Instagram just began allowing you to upload videos. That means pros can shoot on high-tech cameras, edit on a desktop, and post their masterpieces to Instagram to outshine your crummy amateur videos.

The new 4.1 version of Instagram for iOS and Android adds video support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and one-touch photo straightening in IOS, but the big deal is video uploads. The app’s big competitor, Twitter’s Vine, seems to have allowed some brands to upload videos, but otherwise everyone still has to create within Vine.

Uploads will turn Instagram Video into a more serious art form but not necessarily a more unique one. The limitations of shooting videos in-app forced directors on Instagram and Vine to be creative and experiment. Now as long as it’s shorter than 15-seconds, they can post whatever they want to Instagram. They could patch together highlights of their old work, promos for their new stuff, or remix someone’s ripped YouTube video.

And video uploads this will fling open the door to brands. Many were likely shy about conveying their brand through low-production value clips. Now they can have big agencies ship them clips to publish. Many suspect video to become an advertising medium for Instagram, especially since the 15-second length matches that of shorter TV commercials. This option would equip advertisers to directly load in their TV spots without help from Instagram or Facebook.

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Will we get to see more beautiful videos on Instagram? Sure. But will the average person be as inclined to post their off-the-cuff creations when they’re facing meticulously storyboarded, lit, and edited material? Maybe less so.

Instagram was launched with an emphasis on simplicity. By allowing creators to get complicated, it could divide the community, and send video novices packing for Vine’s amateur pastures.

[Image Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez]