Instagram 4.1 now lets you upload pre-recorded clips, opens the door to video ads

Instagram just introduced a major change to the video-posting feature it its Android and iOS mobile apps, with the popular social network now allowing users to upload pre-recorded clips from the smartphone’s gallery.

The revamped video-posting feature is part of the new Instagram apps for Android and iOS, version 4.1. "Starting today you can upload videos from your phone’s media library and share those moments to Instagram regardless of when they were captured", says Instagram. "Once you select the video clip you’d like to import, you can trim it down to the exact part you like best. We’ve also made it so that you can choose how you square-crop your clip so you can keep the action front and center".

So what does this mean for Instagram? Well, aside from letting users post short clips from their past trips or vacations, the popular social network also opens the door to businesses that wish to promote their products through professionally-recorded video ads — prior to this change, this was only possible with photos.

As a result, users might notice a growth in third-party advertisements in the near future. However, this should not negatively impact user-engagement levels, seeing as many brands have already attracted major followings by promoting their products. A good example of this is Audi — the German car maker constantly manages to get a high number of comments and likes for its car photos, even though the content is clearly design to act as ads.

The popular social network also revealed that the latest Instagram app for iOS adds automatic straightening for photos through the new Straighten button, while its Android counterpart introduces support for Video on Instagram to handsets running Ice Cream Sandwich.

Instagram 4.1 is available to download from Apple App Store and Google Play.