It has only been a little over a month since Instagram announced Video, stirring up competition for video app sensation Vine.  Now the Facebook owned company is rolling out another new feature for the app, Instagram 4.1. The update will allow users to upload pre-recorded clips from the smartphone’s gallery, a highly requested feature from marketers and filter-loving users. The revamped video-posting upgrade also expands the Video functionality to Android 4.0 (interestingly named Ice Cream Sandwich) owners – which since the launch of Video has been the Android community’s number-one request.

“Starting today you can upload videos from your phone’s media library and share those moments to Instagram regardless of when they were captured. Once you select the video clip you’d like to import, you can trim it down to the exact part you like best. We’ve also made it so that you can choose how you square-crop your clip so you can keep the action front and center,” said Instagram in its blog.

What does this mean for the platform? Well, aside from letting users post short clips from their past trips or vacations (#TBT will now be filled with Video content) and expanding its users with the Android update, the popular social network also opens the door to brands and marketers who wish to promote their products through professionally-recorded video ads. Prior to this change, this was only possible with images.

Yes, this means users might notice a growth in third-party advertisements in the near future, but this should not negatively impact user-engagement levels, seeing as many brands have already attracted major followings by promoting their products in creative ways. A prime example of this is Nike – the sports shoe brand turned lifestyle brand constantly manages to get a high number of comments and likes for its photos, even though the content is clearly centered on its products.

We’re also curious to see how detrimental of an effect this will be for Vine – who is already nine seconds shorter that Instagram with no option to include video content other than real-time happenings.

The popular social network also revealed that the latest Instagram app for iOS adds automatic straightening for photos through the new Straighten button.

To learn more about Instagram 4.1, check out the Instagram Help Center.

Instagram for iOS version 4.1 is currently available for download in Apple’s App Store and Instagram for Android version 4.1 is now available on Google Play {links no longer available}.

Source: Instagram