Today: Instagram introduces another app separate from its namesake, a time-lapse video app, and Facebook hits a record high. Also: Apple drops amid reports of larger iPad.
The Lead: Instagram introduces another new app, Facebook hits record high
Facebook's habit of introducing separate apps for new functions has spread to its first big-money acquisition: Instagram announced Tuesday a new app that will allow mobile phone users to easily create time-lapse videos.
Hyperlapse, which launched for Apple's iOS mobile operating system Tuesday, allows smartphone users to create time-lapse-style videos, typically composed of hundreds or thousands of photographs taken over a prolonged period of time.
"Hyperlapse from Instagram features built-in stabilization technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic look, quality and feel--a feat that has previously only been possible with expensive equipment," the corporate blog post said.
The new app is the second from Instagram that is not bundled with its namesake photo-sharing app, after the San Francisco company introduced Bolt last month, which allows users to quickly send a photo or video directly to a contact. In an interview with Wired, the creators and executives said that they worried incorporating the feature into the main Instagram app could cause it to be ignored by those used to the simpler features of the app.
"We didn't want to create a special use that would just be hidden," Instagram Chief Technical Officer Mike Krieger told Wired.
Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion just ahead of its record-breaking initial public offering in 2012, and said it would allow the company to operate independently under co-founder Kevin Systrom. Instagram seems to be following a similar pattern to its corporate parent, however, adding advertising to the service late last year and now splintering offerings among a family of apps, as Facebook has done with its Messenger app and other offerings such as the Paper news-reading app and Slingshot photo-sharing offering.
Facebook's mobile-advertising growth has helped push it to record highs on Wall Street, but executives have cautioned that they will move slowly in ramping up revenues on services such as Instagram.
"We could take the cheap and easy approach" of shoveling ads into those services, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call with reporters and analysts last month, "but we're not going to do that. We're going to take the time to do this in a way that we think will be right over multiple years."
Facebook stock gained 1.3 percent to a record closing high of $75.96, pushing the Menlo Park social network's market capitalization within shouting distance of $200 billion.
SV150 market report: Apple drops amid report of larger iPad ahead
Facebook's gains helped Silicon Valley tech stocks push forward Tuesday as the Standard & Poor's 500 closed higher than 2,000 for the first time, but a decline from Apple blocked more progress.
Apple dropped 0.6 percent to $100.89 as Bloomberg News reported that the Cupertino company is planning to manufacture a larger iPad in 2015. Apple's tablet offering has struggled for growth of late, and anonymous sources told Bloomberg that a new version of the device will go into production next year with a screen that measures 12.9 inches diagonally, significantly larger than the current 9.7-inch screen on the largest iPad. Apple has tried to find growth by marketing iPads to businesses and schools, including a recent partnership with IBM, and IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani told Bloomberg, "We're expecting larger tablets to do better" in enterprise sales. Apple's education initiative was handed a setback, however, with Los Angeles public schools' decision to suspend a large contract with the company that provided iPads to students.
Google announced yet another acquisition, picking up visual effects rendering company Zync Render for an undisclosed amount, but fell 0.4 percent to $588.12 while suffering an odd issue on its search platform. Netflix dipped 0.3 percent to $479.36 after being shut out at Tuesday night's Emmys and hand-delivering its opposition to the Time Warner-Comcast merger. Hewlett-Packard hit a new 52-week high and jumped 1.8 percent to $37.83 despite recalling 6 million charge cords, and GoPro rose 3.3 percent to $45.29 while celebrating National Dog Day with a new dog harness. In Tuesday afternoon's earnings reports, TiVo revealed quarterly profits of $9.3 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $111.9 million, and shares rose; Aruba Networks reported a net loss of $4.1 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $202.9 million, and the stock gained; and Nimble Storage lost $26.1 million, or 37 cents a share, on revenues of $53.8 million, and shares dropped.
Up: Splunk, Twitter, GoPro, Workday, HP, Nvidia, eBay, LinkedIn, Facebook, Symantec
Down: VMware, Zynga, SolarCity, Gilead, Juniper, Apple
The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Up 1.55, or 0.1 percent, to 1620.81
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Up 13.29, or 0.29 percent, to 4,570.64
The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Up 29.83, or 0.17 percent, to 17,106.7
And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Up 2.1, or 0.11 percent, to 2,000.02