Instagram is releasing its newest app, a video maker called Boomerang. The app, announced today, allows users to create short, shareable animations that play from beginning to end and then from end to beginning–hence the name, Boomerang. This is the latest in a wave of add-on apps released by the Facebook-owned company.
In a blog post about the new Android and iOS app, Instagram wrote: “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. We’re inspired by the visual stories you tell on Instagram.”
Whether Facebook admits it or not, Boomerang is fuel for the ongoing war between Instagram and Twitter’s video-centric Vine platform. Boomerang also competes with that other great GIF purveyor, Tumblr.
Other apps released recently by Instagram include Layout (which lets users create video collages) and Hyperlapse (which lets users create time-lapse videos). According to analytics firm App Annie, downloads for Hyperlapse in iOS have steadily declined since its release in 2014; it now hovers around being the 225th most downloaded photo or video app in App Annie’s metrics.