Instagram update adds video imports at long last

Now you can import both photos and videos from your Camera Roll to the app to edit, filter, and post.

Instagram is doing everything in its power to point out the differences between its videos and Vines. Now you can import videos to the app from your Camera Roll, a feature Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom promised back in June.

Instagram 4.1, which rolls out today to iOS and Android users, doesn't just let you import a video: When you upload a clip, you can also edit it down to the 15 seconds you like best. After selecting the best section, you can choose a custom crop to fit with Instagram's square format. Basically, the app adds all of the tools you can already use on photos.

Android users using 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich now have access to Instagram video as part of Wednesday's update. Android isn't getting another feature Instagram added today, however. The app now lets users straighten their photos taken in-app--just tap the new Straighten icon, and the photo will magically level out. The tool also lets you rotate or adjust photos. Straighten is only available for iOS users for now.

Vine doesn't allow imports, editing, or any tools that stray too far from the basic 6-second loops. But Instagram's main competitor has been busy rolling out updates in recent weeks, including revines, grids, ghost effects, and themed channels.

The two apps are neck and neck, with Vine continuing to grow at a steady pace. According to App Annie's app index, Vine was the top downloaded non-game iOS app in June, while Instagram came in at No. 5. Those numbers are slightly misleading--Vine is newer than Instagram, and many Instagram video users already used the app to post photos. But Vine is still thriving and is expected to upgrade its product to continue to compete in the social video space.

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Caitlin McGarry

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