Yesterday Facebook announced it was adding video to Instagram. I dutifully updated the app, then, while attending my son’s middle school graduation celebration, decided to actually use it to record blue and white balloons falling on the happy grad class from the gym ceiling.

I’d like to show you that video right here, but I can’t. Sorry — no can do.


Above: Forever locked into Facebook?

Image Credit: John Koetsier

Instagram, it turns out, shares in … not out.

In other words, you can view the video within the Instagram app, or — if you have the URL — on the Instagram website. You can also view the video in Facebook, but nowhere else. Sure, you can enable sharing via Twitter, but that’s just a link to the Instagram website (thanks to Twitter and Instagram’s little spat last year.

Something similar happens with Vine videos on Facebook – you have to click through to Vine to see them — but there’s one key difference:

Vine allows embeds.

While Instagram videos are only viewable inside the Facebook-owned universe, your Vine videos can live anywhere on the web: on Vine, on your website, in your blog, or anywhere you wish. That’s because Vine gives you embed code — a small chunk of HTML that you can fit into any web page that you can edit.

Such as this post, for example:

A small difference? Perhaps.

But it’s the kind of small difference that makes a big deal. The big deal is that with Vine, you have the right and the ability to share the content you create anywhere you wish on the web — a significant freedom. With Instagram, you’re stuck in the Facebook ecosystem.

There’s no question that it’s a big ecosystem. But even the biggest jail is still a jail.

Image credit: BradPrime/Zazzle

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