If you’re inexplicably hypnotized by one-second videos played on loop ad nauseam, Instagram has a present for you, and it’s called Boomerang. Today, the app that makes all of our lives look better than they are is releasing a new standalone app that allows you to take five photos, string them together into a GIF, and play them over. And over. And over. Tapping into our collective obsession with GIFs, using Boomerang is as easy as tapping your photo button on your phone — then, the app does the rest.
As explained on the Instagram blog, “Boomerang takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward. Shoot in portrait or landscape. Share it on Instagram. Boomerang automatically saves it to your camera roll.” Effectively turning your normal ‘grams into supercharged mini-vids, Boomerang allows you to “transform an ordinary selfie with your friends into a funny video,” or better yet, “Get that exact moment your friend blows out his birthday candles, then watch them come back to life again and again.” Seriously, who doesn’t wanna relive that moment?
As Instagram’s third standalone app (it was preceded by Hyperlapse, which creates time-lapses, and Layout, which creates collages), Boomerang isn’t necessarily the most novel of developments. The Google Photos animation feature achieves a similar results, as does Instagram competitor Phhhoto, which allows you to capture “instant moving pictures” and crossed 1 million users back in March.
And of course, there are other apps like Vine and Apple Live Photos, but whereas both of these tools include sound, you’ll have to make do with silence in Boomerang.
Born out of a July hackathon (as all great products seem to be), Boomerang was initially nothing more than a small passion project begun by a few Instagram engineers. But soon, as the app gained traction within Instagram, the team decided to take it public and let the whole world experience the joys of instant GIF creation.
“Now, with Boomerang,” says the Instagram team, “we can’t wait to see what you’ll create next.”