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article imageInstagram unveils Boomerang for one-second looping videos

By James Walker     Oct 22, 2015 in Technology
Instagram has launched a new standalone app designed to "turn everyday moments into something fun and unexpected." Available on Android and iOS, Boomerang provides a one-click way to create a 1-second long looping video.
Boomerang was announced today and can be downloaded now from the App Store and Google Play. It functions independently of the main Instagram app and joins the company's other standalone products, Hyperlapse and Layout.
Boomerang's simplistic interface consists of just one button. Pressing it shoots a rapid-fire sequence of 10 photos which are then automatically stitched together to form a one-second video. The slow framerate means the result looks more like a light-hearted animated GIF, capturing 10 variations on what would otherwise be just one photo.
Videos can be shot in either portrait or landscape orientation. The app can loop captured footage and play it backwards as well as forwards. Boomerang automatically saves to the camera roll but also allows for upload to Facebook and Instagram.
Instagram wrote in a blog post: "We're inspired by the visual stories you tell on Instagram. With looping videos and Hyperlapse, you experiment with motion in new and exciting ways. Now, with Boomerang, we can't wait to see what you'll create next."
The new app represents another phase in Instagram's progress towards diversifying its product line-up and attracting new users. The main Instagram app already has video support, but the looping animations made in Boomerang are designed to be of a more light-hearted style geared towards sharing with friends.
Boomerang by Instagram  launched 22/10/2015
Boomerang by Instagram, launched 22/10/2015
Instagram
Boomerang follows in the footsteps of services like Vine, a service that lets users create video loops seven seconds in length before sharing them with followers. It’s a similar concept to what Instagram has done for photos and one that has proven to be popular over time.
There are some notable differences between Vine and Boomerang though. Besides the much shorter maximum capture length and lack of any idea of "followers", Boomerang's videos look more like animations than videos. The 10fps (frames-per-second) capture rate means they are shot at a third of the commonplace 30fps used by many smartphone cameras, creating somewhat jerky footage. The style is unique and evidently representative of the animated interactions that Instagram thinks the app will be most used for.
The company suggested: "Capture a friend jumping off a diving board, defying physics as she flies back and forth through the air. 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 by Instagram  launched 22/10/2015
Boomerang by Instagram, launched 22/10/2015
Instagram
Boomerang could also be seen as a rival to the Live Photos feature recently introduced by Apple on the iPhone 6S and available on Windows Phone for some time. Both implementations of the feature automatically capture a few fleeting moments of video before and after a photo is taken, adding a touch of live action to a static image.
Currently, these live images cannot be shared to social networks though, although Microsoft says the upgraded Living Images in Windows 10 Mobile will make it possible to save videos and upload them to online platforms. In the meantime, Boomerang interprets live photos in its own way by merging them with shareable video loops.
Boomerang can be downloaded today from the Apple App Store on iOS and the Google Play Store on Android. The app seems to be a blend of Vine, traditional animated GIFs and the "live" photos offered natively by Apple and Microsoft in their smartphone platforms. With all three elements popular with users, Boomerang could prove to be a hit that begins to extend Instagram's reach into video alongside its established and popular photo sharing platform.
More about instagram, Boomerang, Photos, Smartphone, App
 
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