Although I’ve kept up with my Instagram lingo and the culture surrounding it these past few years (#nofilter…), I don’t really use the platform. I already have enough of a social media presence—Twitter is my public-facing service, Facebook is private—I don’t need a third. If I have pictures to share, it’s usually going on one of those two platforms. Still, as an outsider I had to give Boomerang a try, as there’s a chance it could catch on and I need to be in the know. It..still needs some work.
The concept is so simple, it barely even has an interface. The idea is to point your camera at something moving, press the button, and record that moment. It then plays it back like a GIF—the catch being that it also plays the animation back in reverse to make a neverending loop.
It’s basically an alternative to Apple’s “Live Photos” concept and all the other GIF apps out there. Much to my surprise, you don’t need to sign up for anything to actually use the app. Instead, you’ll have the option to immediately post it to Instagram, Facebook, or the “other” tab that brings up your typical native iOS options like email or SMS. But if you do something like Tweet it, it’ll only play the Boomerang as a video.
The quality of the video is higher, but it subsequently takes up more space on your device, mostly because it instantly saves captures to your camera roll without asking. It’s fun for what it is, it just needs to have many more features to really have a point, otherwise you may as well use any number of fully featured video apps like Vine. In order to really take off, Boomerang it at least needs options like GIF support, and maybe even a full-on integration into the Instagram app itself.
For now Boomerang is kind of like Facebook Messenger or Instagram’s other apps like Hyperlapse and Layout—another add-on app that’s taking up space on your screen. For now, it’s a fun app to play around with for a day, but until it gets the right amount of support, that’s probably all for now.
Boomerang is an iOS/Android app that can be downloaded for free in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.