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App Review - Boomerang by Instagram

There are a lot of GIF-based apps dropping at the moment, like an insane amount. They come in various different flavors, from those which offer just filters to the ones that allow you to create your own from a string of images or video footage. Boomerang falls into the latter category, and while it's hardly pushing the envelope, the fact that it was made by Instagram separates it from the pack.

The first, most obvious reason is that it will reach far more potential downloaders, as they have a 400 million strong user-base to advertise to, but it also suggests a significant markup in functionality, considering the fleet of dump-trucks filled with money that Instagram have at their disposal, thanks to Facebook. The third thing to take into account is that this app acts as yet another weapon in the every increasing arsenal of purpose built photo manipulation apps that Instagram have gradually been rolling out, joining Hyperlapse (time lapses) and Layout (collages).

That's probably why it's a bit more spartan than some other, similarly intended apps. Opening it leads you to little more than a viewfinder, and two buttons, one for switching between forward and front facing, and the other to actually take the clip. The GIF itself is a composite of 5 photographs, but rather than acting like a normal GIF - that is playing and then resetting - these ones play both forwards and backwards in a full loop. Let the hilarity ensue.

Once you've taken one, you get the sharing page where you can stick it up on Instagram, Facebook, text it, WhatsApp it, send it via Messenger or just copy it. Once you've taken care of that you just hit done and move on to the next one. As I said, spartan, but anything else would just be over-saturating the concept. All the GIFs are saved into your photo library anyway, so you can do pretty much anything with them after that. Some settings to change the length of the clip or a slow-motion option might be nice but really the limited format just encourages further creativity.

The most important thing this will do is make the standard Instagram feed more interesting and, dare I say it, more fun. I've only played around with it in the office, but already I have a GIF of our resident web designer, Avraam, that will haunt many nightmare (see above). Overall I'd say this is a nice little self-contained app, with a lot of mileage for playing around.

Overall, we give Boomerang a Songbird Rating of 4 out of 5 stars!

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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App Review - Boomerang by Instagram Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, October 26, 2015 Rating: 5

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