Instagram built a new video app for making short, action-packed video loops.
The standalone app, called “Boomerang,” rolled out on iOS and Android devices on Thursday. The bare-bones app combines photos into one-second videos that play forward and backward in a loop. Videos can be shot in portrait or landscape and automatically save to users’ camera rolls. Although Boomerang videos must be shot within the app, they can be shared on Instagram or elsewhere online. Fast and simple to use, the app doesn’t require users to have Instagram accounts. Boomerang bears some resemblance to “Vine,” a six-second video app owned by Twitter TWTR +0.00%, and the new Apple AAPL +1.74% “Live Photos” feature on the iPhone 6S. The new tool could help Instagram introduce more variety into its flagship app without complicating its interface.
“Capture a friend jumping off a diving board, defying physics as she flies back and forth through the air,” the Facebook FB +2.02%-owned app said in a blog post. “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 isn’t Instagram’s first standalone app. This year, the photo-and-video sharing service launched the app “Layout” for making photo collages. Last August, Instagram created ”Hyperlapse” for making time lapse videos using stabilization technology. And last July, Instagram debuted a Snapchat-like photo sharing app called “Bolt.”
Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. The photo app now has 400 million monthly active users, and about 80 million photos are shared on the service every day. Instagram, which has been ramping up its advertising offerings this year, is poised to deliver a powerful shot in the arm for Facebook. Research firm eMarketer recently estimated that Instagram’s ad revenue will reach about $1.5 billion in 2016 and $2.8 billion in 2017. This year, eMarketer forecasts Instagram’s global ad revenue will be $600 million.