Image courtesy of Facebook Livestream

Image courtesy of Facebook Livestream

At a mysterious “new product” event, Facebook announced Instagram video. Rumored to be in the works for some time, the new feature was officially announced by Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom in San Francisco on Thursday.

This is actually a huge new feature for Instagram that raises the stakes in the Facebook vs. Twitter wars. Video for Instagram is a shot across the bow to Twitter’s Vine in the social video snippets arena. I’ve got more details after the jump. >>>

Well, like all things Instagram, we never heard from them and were not invited to the event so I’ve gleaned these details from and Mashable’s reports.

The new Instagram videos will be a minimum of 3 seconds long and up to 15 seconds in length — that’s over twice the length of Vine’s six seconds of video.

The first iteration will not support importing video from your camera roll into the app. You’ll have to shoot within Instagram — an issue that will make creating videos like some of Vine’s six-second masterpieces very difficult to do at first, although it will be possible to edit videos in-app.

Similar to photos, Instagrammers will be able to apply one of 13 filters to their videos.

“Cinema” is the app’s stabilization mode to help steady shaky videos. In this morning’s demo, journalists and bloggers were skeptical but impressed with its implementation. We’ll see how the feature works in the real world.

Personally, I think watching Vine’s video’s is a little voyeuristic and often fascinating. Vinepeek is a huge productivity killer in six-second increments. We’ll see how Instagram’s new longer video snippet format helps or hinders what are essentially “photos that move”.

Your move, Twitter.

Version 4.0.0 of the Instagram app, which now supports video, is now available in the App Store.