Facebook set to beef up Instagram with video?

Analysts say tight-lipped Facebook's announcement on Thursday will likely involve mobile and video, and it needs to be a blockbuster

Speculation abounds that Facebook Thursday will unveil tools to enable its popular Instagram app to take and share short videos.

Though analysts say Facebook offered no pre-briefings about the announcement, those interviewed for this story agree that the new offering will likely be mobile-focused

Most of those predict Facebook will be unveiling an upgrade to Instagram.

"I hope it is something around mobile because Facebook lost a lot of credibility after the failed Facebook Home release," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. "Additionally, Twitter's Vine video feature is getting a lot of attention lately, so a Vine knock-off could be in order."

Last Friday, news hit that Facebook was inviting reporters to a product announcement on June 20 at its Menlo Park, Calif. offices. "A small team has been working on a new idea," the invitation reads. "Join us for coffee and learn about a new product."

There was no hint of the product to be announced.

The secrecy and speculation around the announcement largely mirrors the hubbub that built up before Facebook unveiled Home, its Android launcher and app family, this past April.

Before the April announcement, some analysts had expected the company to release its own smartphone. That was not the case.

Now the expert speculation is focused a video feature for Instagram, the social network's photo-sharing app.

If true, Facebook would be taking a page from social rival Twitter, which in January launched Vine, a service that lets mobile users capture and share short, looping videos. Each video onlys last six seconds or less.

Vine was initially only available as a free download for the Apple iPhone and the iPod Touch. Earlier this month, Twitter added Android to the list.

Last week, Facebook announced that it was enabling hashtags on its site, also comparable to Twitter capabilities.

Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner, Inc., said Facebook's announcement today must be a homerun.

"In terms of what would help Facebook, clearly they are focused on mobile so whatever they announce will not only be social at its core but will also have a significant focus on the mobile experience," he said, noting that Home has been widely panned.

"Given the recent product launch troubles, I feel Facebook does need to turn things around. They need to not only improve these recent product launches that are not doing well, but they also need to have some winners too, and having a good launch this week would really help them in terms of keeping users happy," Blau said.

Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said an announcement that Facebook is adding a video feature for Instagram may not be enough to boost the firm's standing.

Moorhead said Facebook could use a number of mobile-focused apps or features, such as a local app that encourages people to check in to local restaurants or stores. Facebook also could use a Vine-like feature, he added.

"Facebook has a lot of ground to make up and if they announce something awesome, past failure will be forgotten quickly," he added.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebooktwitterweb appsInternet-based applications and servicesInstagram

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?