Facebook may unleash Vine-like video for Instagram at June event

Facebook recently sent out mysterious press invitations for a 20 June event at its California headquarters, and rumour has it that video is on the agenda.

Citing an anonymous source, TechCrunch has reported that Facebook will add a video component to Instagram, its photo-sharing app, in what sounds like the social network's response to Twitter's Vine app.

Facebook declined to comment on the rumours; Instagram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news may not come as a shock to some. In May, former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys blogged that Facebook was internally testing a Vine-like video function.

"The feature, which is still being tested internally, would allow a user to upload somewhere between five to 10 seconds of video from their mobile device to the photo sharing website," Keys wrote, citing an unnamed source.

Adding the ability to shoot and share short videos directly from the wildly popular application could certainly give Facebook a boost in the social media war. Just last week, four days after Vine hit Android phones, the six-second-video app surpassed Instagram in total Twitter shares, according to Topsy's analytics.

Twitter released Vine for iOS in late January, several months after acquiring the video startup. Facebook, meanwhile, dropped $1 billion (£638 million) in the spring of 2012 to purchase Instagram, and has remained fairly hands-off ever since.

Last week, Facebook sent a paper invitation to media outlets, revealing that "a small team has been working on a big idea," and invited reports to "join us for coffee" and to learn about the new product. The simple postcard, which came via snail mail, includes a singular brown coffee-mug "stain" in one corner.

Last week, there were also rumours that Facebook is prepping a Google Reader replacement.