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Employer Law Report

Employees Getting Fired For Photos on Social Media Is Old News as Facebook Introduces Video on Instagram. #InstagramVideo

Posted in Social Media

Recently we told you about Vine, a mobile video application owned by Twitter that allows users to capture and share short looping six-second videos on Twitter. As we explained, the app will no doubt cause employers headaches as employees start recording Vine workplace videos – especially with 13 million users since the app was rolled out five months ago.

Well, last week Facebook followed suit and introduced its own short-video service that is built into Instagram, the photo-sharing app that Facebook acquired last year. (Facebook also rolled out support for hashtags, which were pioneered by and are a staple of Twitter.)

The video function is already available through the Instagram app, meaning every Instagram user can already start using the video function. There is no need for a second app download, like with the Vine app. Now, when a user goes to take a photo on Instagram, the user will see a movie camera icon. A simple tap of the camera icon will engage the video mode and allow the user to record up to fifteen seconds of video through the Instagram camera.

But you know what this means, right? With Vine, users can only record six-second videos. With Instagram Video function – I really wish it had a better name like Vine – users can record fifteen seconds of video – that’s one and a half times longer than videos on Vine and, in turn, it can cause employers one and a half times bigger headaches. (It’s probably going to force everyone to watch commercials again. Those were about fifteen seconds weren’t they?)

While Vine only allows users to post to Facebook and Twitter, Instagram allows users to post videos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Email and foursquare. If interested, techcrunch.com did a great comparison of the two, here.

Takeaways: First it was Twitter’s Vine, and now with Facebook’s Video on Instagram, videos are set to replace photographs as an employer’s newest social media headache. As we reminded employers before, as more and more employees are bringing their mobile devices to work, employers must stay on top of these technological developments to ensure that their workplace policies apply as broadly as possible to cover all new technologies, including these new video apps, as they develop. This includes implementing proper policies and training so employers make clear what employees are and are not allowed to share on these new social media video platforms.