Instagram the popular social media photo sharing site with approximately 130 million monthly users will now be able to shoot and share videos.

The new video feature is available to all iOS and Android Instagram users as a free update to the existing Instagram app. The basic look of the app is the same, but a small movie icon has been added that takes you into video mode.

The  videos can be between three and 15 seconds long and include any number of individual video clips. After you shoot the video: 13 brand-new filters, created by an artist specifically for Instagram video. They do the usual tweaks to make video pop, like adding vignettes, upping the contrast and playing with color. There is also an image-stabilization feature to even out shaky videos shot on the go.

For now, videos can only be shot from within the Instagram app, and there is no way to upload existing video from your phone’s camera roll.

According to Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom  “It’s everything we know and love about Instagram, but it moves.”

The video-sharing feature puts Instagram in direct competition with Vine, the popular Twitter-owned app that lets users share looping six-second video clips. Vine has skyrocketed in popularity in the six months since it launched, attracting more than 13 million users. Many of the six-second videos have a unique look and feel, employing fast cuts and stop-motion animations to tell quirky little stories.

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Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular social media network.  The site is a good place for businesses to post photos and interact with potential customers and reach their target audience.  As with any social network it is important to post regularly and interact with your users.  But there are some specific things you can do to gain more popularity on Instagram.

Start by making sure you post good content. Get creative with your photo editing. Don’t limit yourself to Instagram’s filters.  Find a great photo editing or creative app and make your photos distinct.  Doing so makes it easier to get noticed and build a following.

Be sure to use popular hashtags. Think about the subject matter and popular instagram hashtags. You can tag photos based on subject matter but you can also tag them based on style, location and things #instagood, #photooftheday and more. Just take a look at hashtags being used by others ad seek out the top Instagram hashtags .

Don’t clutter your feeds.  Post fewer quality images so each photo has a chance to be noticed.  Take time between postings, but be sure to post on a regular basis.

There are a ton of Instagram activities taking place on the mobile social network.
There are many communities worth participating in.

Try to get featured on Instagram. Getting featured by Instagram could gain you thousands of followers per day. Instagram doesn’t really let on how it chooses users to add them to their ‘suggested users’ list, but it is worth a try. If you are added to the list, you’ll stay there for one week, giving you lots of exposure on the social network.

Like any social network or community, Instagram is all about engagement. It’s about the give and take. Liking other users’ outside of your circle of friends or personal network is a great way to get noticed.  Commenting with thoughtful ideas is even better.  The more you interact with other users, the more they will do the same for you.

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LinkedIn – the social media site used by millions of professionals has streamlined its search function. Now instead of looking for people, companies or jobs separately, users can get comprehensive results in the same search.  When users visit the site all they will need to do is type what they’re looking for into the search box and they will see a results that pull content from across all LinkedIn groups.

The improved search function also includes auto-complete and suggested related searches. Users can save their search queries and receive automatic notifications when results for that search change. – As they type their search term they’ll be prompted with options for what they may be looking for. Now when they type in a search term such as “project manager” they’ll see example search queries for people or jobs related to “project manager” as well as a preview of top results to help them find what they are looking for in one click.

LinkedIn hopes to get more functionality and usability into its platform as it continues its transformation away from being a simple database and point-to-point communication platform, and into more of a social network.

In addition to the improved general search function LinkedIn also added other features.  They include:

  • Smarter query intent algorithm – The more you search for content on LinkedIn, the more it learns and understands your intent over time to provide the most relevant results.
  • Enhanced advanced search – Advanced search gotten a new look.  It’s also easier to deepen one’s search with filters like location, company, school and more.
  • Automated alerts – Users can save time by saving individual searches and receive alerts when the results change.

This is one of the LinkedIn’s first big overhauls to its search function in years.  LinkedIn sees an average of 475 million searches a month, according to the company. The network has 200 million members.

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