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Instagram video gets import option, works on more Android phones

With the update, video is accessible to more people, as Instagram continues to duke it out with Vine for the crown in mobile video.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom announces the video feature at a Facebook media event in late June.
James Martin/CNET

Facebook-owned Instagram will now let members share video footage from the past with a new version of the application that includes the option to import clips from a smartphone's media library.

Instagram version 4.1, released Wednesday, comes with the video import option and broader Android support so that people using a device running the Android 4.0 operating system, aka "Ice Cream Sandwich," can also use the service's 15-second video feature.

Instagram now lets members select video recordings from their media library, and trim and crop them as needed. Instagram

In addition, the iOS version of Instagram now comes with a new camera tool that automatically straightens crooked photos.

"We're happy to announce that we've developed a brand-new technology that brings you straight photos instantly. When you take a photo with the in-app camera, you can now tap the new Straighten icon and your photo will correct to be level -- it's that simple," Instagram said in a blog post. "The straightening tool also includes a slider so you can rotate and adjust any photo -- including ones imported from your photo library -- as much or as little as you'd like."

The considerable update comes less than two months after Instagram released a video option for shooting 15-second clips in bits and pieces. The option to import videos adds a new dimension to the experience and gives people the ability to choose from their previously recorded clips and trim them as needed, meaning video captures don't have to be as spontaneous as before.

The import option also distinguishes Instagram video from predecessor Vine. The Twitter-owned app for creating 6-second videos that loop does not currently allow users to select past footage.

The two apps are battling it out with frequent feature releases, dueling for the crown in mobile video. With 130 million active users, Instagram has a larger audience by default. Vine, however, is growing exactly as Twitter would have hoped, according to CEO Dick Costolo. The quirky video app was the most downloaded non-game application on Apple's App Store in June.