On Thursday, Instagram unveiled its third standalone app, Boomerang.
A mixture between Vine and Phhhoto and Apple's Live Photos feature, the new app lets you quickly and easily create a 1-second video that loops together 5 burst photos, playing them back and then immediately reversing the sequence for a "Boomerang" effect.
The app automatically saves the 1-second GIFs as a video on your camera roll, and the interface is simple and uncluttered—porting you directly to the camera screen upon opening up the app. When you've finished shooting a video with Boomerang, you can then share it directly to Instagram of Facebook, which is the only place your friends will see it as the app doesn't include its own dedicated news feed.
Since the app automatically saves any Boomerangs directly to your camera roll, you can also easily send them over iMessage or other messaging apps. You could argue that Boomerang's chief competitor could wind up being Apple's own Live Photos feature in the iPhone 6S, which instantly creates brief 3-second GIF every time you take a photo, which you can then watch by pressing hard against the still photo in your camera roll.
Here's what Boomerang looks like.
Boomerang is Instagram's third standalone app aside from its flagship app, following behind the recent launches of its time-lapse app, Hyperlapse, and its photo formatting app, Layout.
You can download Boomerang for iPhone over at the App Store, or for Android over at Google Play (please note that Boomerang is still taking some time to populate in the Google Play store, but it will be available at that link shortly.)