Bringing video to Instagram could also be aimed at improving Facebook's ability to compete with Twitter, which released its own mobile video app, Vine, in January.
Vine lets users record short, six-second videos that play back on a loop. In addition to the Vine social network, the videos can also be shared on Twitter and Facebook.
It is surprising that Facebook has not introduced video for Instagram sooner, said Ovum analyst Eden Zoller. "There is no doubt Twitter will move quickly to up the ante on Vine and this could undercut Facebook's efforts with video on Instagram," she said in an email.
But unlike Vine videos, Instagram videos don't loop. And, although Instagram lets users create video clips that incorporate multiple shots like with Vine, Instagram offers some editing tools that let users delete the most recent shot created with the service before uploading the clip, which Vine doesn't.
One concern, however, is whether seconds-long videos can be integrated seamlessly into Instagram without disrupting the flow of users' feeds. Even the name "Instagram" is a portmanteau of the practice of old cameras marketing themselves as "instant," and short telegrams that are sent over the wire between people.
Instagram was founded on three principles: to transform mediocre mobile photos into professional-looking snapshots; to let users share those photos instantly with others on various other networks; and to make the upload process faster, according to its website.
Instagram initially launched in 2010.