Instagram Launches Standalone GIF-style App

boomerang instagram combo
Facebook-owned Instagram has launched a new standalone app that aims to expand the companys creative options for users without cluttering up its primary app. The Boomerang app, which is launching for iOS and Android simultaneously, enables users to shoot a one-second burst of simple video which then loops backwards and forwards.

The app itself is quite straightforward, shooting five photos in a one-second burst which are then converted into a GIF-style looping image which plays forwards and then backwards before repeating. The app doesnt have its own feed, but Boomerangs are saved to users camera rolls, where they can easily be shared to the main Instagram app, Facebook and other social media.

Instagram has used standalone apps to test new features in the past, for both time-lapses (Hyperlapse) and photo collages (Layout). Boomerang mirrors similar formats experimented with by Apple, with its Live Photos, and Google, with its Google Photos animation feature, as well as Instagram competitor Phhhoto.

The app was originally created by a team of Instagrams Android engineers at a hackathon in July, but proved popular enough among employees to warrant a full release. Whether it ends up being equally popular with consumers remains to be seen, but if it does, we can probably expect the functionality to be added to Instagrams main app before too long.