With over 400 million monthly users, Instagram has enjoyed fast growth and popularity but in order to stave of a stagnation of interest in its feed the company has launched its newest stand-alone app Boomerang.
What is Boomerang?
Rather than bulking up its app, Instagram brings you Boomerang. It’s an “easy as pie” video application that allows users to take a one-second blast of five photos and then turns it into a silent video that plays forward and then, like a boomerang, reverses direction in order to return to the beginning of a loop.
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The app doesn’t have it’s own feed but Boomerangs are immediately and automatically saved to your phone or tablets camera roll. The app is available for devices running iOS as well as Android and Boomerangs can be shared effortlessly on Instagram, Facebook and other social sites. As a stand-alone app, Boomerang does not require an Instagram account.
“Capture a friend jumping off a diving board, defying physics as she flies back and forth through the air,” Instagram wrote in a blog post Thursday. “Transform an ordinary selfie with your friends into a funny video. Get that exact moment your friend blows out his birthday candles, then watch them come back to life again and again.”
Boomerang won’t be the last video addition to Instagram’s portfolio
Instagram has no interest in losing its young users to Snapchat and others as Facebook has. It wants to stay fresh. While it might struggle with the seemingly daily additions to Snapchat; the company promises to remain relevant even as young users often jump ship when they see that there parents are “there.”
Two weeks ago, Instagram’s co-founder Kevin Systrom told TIME that video was a key area for the company to hold on to its users. “For Instagram to succeed in the long run, video has to be a core part of not only what we’re good at, but also what the community produce[s],” he said. “So we’re very focused on video. We produced a product called Hyperlapse that lets you take stabilized time-lapse videos. And [that’s] a toe in the water [in terms of] video production tools that might come in the future.”
The birth of Boomerang
For those that use Instagram, you certainly know that lattes, cats, and babies are quite prevalent if not a bit boring when they choke up your feed.
But, “Babies are really, really fun with Boomerang” the app’s Product Manager John Barnett recently told Josh Constine at Tech Crunch describing how it came to be after an Instagram hackathon in early summer. “It was something we built just for fun for us to play with as a team” he says.