Like it or not, the GIF has become the de facto language of the Internet, one that’s used and understood by people from every part of the world. Instagram and Vine have already adopted a variant of GIFs with their short video clips, but now Instagram is taking another stab at GIFs with a new standalone app, called Boomerang. Unlike the short video clips you see on Instagram and Vine already, Boomerang is actually just a bunch of images that’re presented in a rapid slide show that makes it look like a one second video without sound.
Instagram has released a new standalone application called Boomerang. It allows users to share 1-second video clips with their friends, effectively taking the “don’t-call-them-GIFs” animations from Vine and chopping them into sixths. Boomerang “takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward,” according to the blog post announcing the app, automatically saving the result to a user’s camera roll. The brief animations can also (of course) be shared to Instagram’s main app. Boomerang users won’t have to sign in to Instagram to use the app, according a TechCrunch report. It’s supposed to be a lightweight tool that does one thing — capture a short video — and one thing only. Instagram users who see a video made with Boomerang in their feeds, however, will be shown a link to download the app. This is the third standalone application Instagram has introduced since it was acquired by Facebook. The first was Hyperlapse, a video recording app that makes it easy to shoot time lapses and other edited videos; the second was Layout, which allows people to share photo collages to Instagram proper.