Instagram invades the Web with embeds for photos and videos

New feature exposes Instagram images and footage to new audiences and creates a rivalry with Twitter as a source for breaking news.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
Embed this Instagram photo anywhere. Instagram

Instagram is bringing its photos and videos to the rest of the Web with a new embedding feature.

The Facebook-owned application, which has more than 130 million active users, announced Wednesday that it has updated with Web embeds for its photos and videos. There's now a share button you can click to copy embedding code, which you then can paste on a Web site or blog to share the Instagram content there. The new feature is accessible from photo or video pages.

Instagram Web embeds allow people, for the first time, to experience filtered moments, wholly in tact with attribution, outside of the service, which means members may benefit from a boost of additional exposure and Instagram could attract even more users to its service.

This feature also means that Instagram images and footage could be used to supplement news coverage, making the service an even greater rival to Twitter in the real-time sourcing business.

The release closely follows the launch of Instagram video, a feature for sharing 15-second mini movies, which can be enhanced with filters. A company spokesperson said the ability to embed videos has been the service's most requested feature since launch. The embed option puts the app's video offering on par with Twitter's Vine in the sharing department. Vine already allows people to embed its looping 6-second clips around the Web.

In the video embedded here, Instagram Communications Manager Tyson Wheatley captures a group of baby foxes residing and playing on Facebook's Menlo Park campus.