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Facebook cuts down Vine with in-app video posts for iPhone

Facebook has added the ability to record and post video from inside its iPhone app, as well as leave voice messages in chat.

Facebook has added the ability to record and post video from inside its iPhone app, less than a week after Twitter launched its video snippets service Vine.

The update, to version 5.4, also adds voice messaging and improves the Nearby tab. It brings Facebook's iOS app in line with its Android equivalent, which added these features last week.

To add a video to your wall from inside the app, just hit the Photo button at the top of your news feed. It'll bring up your Camera Roll, with the camera icon at the bottom left -- hit that, then when the shutter opens, hit the slider at the bottom right so it changes from stills to video.

Once you've finished capturing your Cannes-winning camera-phone cinematography, hit the grid icon to go back to your Camera Roll. Your little film will appear at the top -- tap it, and press play to make sure it meets your exacting social media standards. Then hit the blue post icon at the bottom right, give it a slightly enigmatic title to pique your friends' interest and press Post to send it out into the mean old world.

That's it -- no editing options, no filters, just flash and the ability to use the front or back cameras. It's just you and your raw talent versus the world, dahling.

Unlike Vine's 6-second loops, there's no specified limit on how long your videos can be, but if you go all Erich von Stroheim it's unlikely to work. (It used to be videos could be up to 2 minutes long, or 20 minutes if you'd verified your account, but Facebook doesn't say any more.)

How to leave a voice message
Facebook voice message

Meanwhile, to record a voice message, swipe from the left to bring up your contacts list. Pick a friend and you'll see the standard messaging chat box. Hit the big + icon on the left and you'll see options to add a photo or an emoticon, as well as the new Record Voice mic icon.

Touch and hold the red record button that comes up, speak your brains, then let go of the button and the message will instantly send. If you think better of it, slide your finger off the button and the recording will be cancelled. Once sent, you'll see a little icon in your chat stream that looks alarmingly like a razor blade. Hit it and you'll hear your charming message. Your friend will see the same icon in their stream.

In other FB news, the service suffered a major outage in the US, with the site unavailable for several hours for some users. The company blamed a DNS issue, meaning it was unable to translate '' into the site's actual IP address. There didn't seem to be the same problem in the UK.

Have you updated to the new app? Have you found the new features useful? Drop me a message in the comments below, or over on the sweeping epic that is our Facebook page.