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Instagram pulls stand-alone Hyperlapse, Boomerang apps

Instagram seems to be on an app-retirement spree these days. Days after the Meta-owned photo- and video-sharing platform announced that it is shuttering the stand-alone IGTV app, it’s now time for the Hyperlapse and Boomerang apps to receive similar treatment.

As of March 8, 2022, stand-alone apps for the Hyperlapse and Boomerang effects for Android seem to have been pulled off the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store and are no longer available for download, reports TechCrunch. For those unaware, these are apps that Instagram users take advantage of to add effects to videos before uploading the final version of the content on Instagram.

What is strange about this move is that unlike in the IGTV app, which received a much-publicized boot, but has not been removed from the app stores yet–these two apps seem to have been silently removed from both the app stores. According to app-tracking service Apptopia, there is a good chance that the Hyperlapse and Boomerang apps were removed from the app stores on the same day.

Data from AppTopia also indicates that the stand-alone Boomerang app was quite popular among Instagrammers even on the day it was removed. In fact, the app averaged 26,000 downloads every day and had been downloaded more than 300 million times. The numbers for Hyperlapse pale in comparison — with just 23 million downloads. This is why Instagram’s decision to retire the Boomerang app has perplexed many people.

Why is Instagram killing all ancillary apps?

While Instagram is yet to reveal the reasons behind retiring the Hyperlapse and Boomerang apps, the company did explain why it pulled the plug on IGTV via a blog post. It is safe to assume that the reasons for the retirement of the stand-alone IGTV app apply to Hyperlapse and Boomerang as well.

In the aforementioned blog post, Instagram revealed that it is doubling down on efforts to improve the experience of using the main Instagram app. With the default Instagram app having long gained the ability to record Hyperlapse and Boomerang videos, most Instagram users did not even need to download Boomerang or Hyperlapse to use these effects. Besides, these stand-alone apps are remnants of an era when the Instagram app was a bit too bloated for smartphones that used less-powerful hardware.

It was easier (and often faster) for such users to download the dedicated Hyperlapse or Boomerang app, add all the required effects, and upload the content using the main Instagram app. Now that even relatively low-cost handsets can easily run the Instagram app, there is hardly the need for stand-alone apps for the sole purpose of adding effects.

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