Why the Hell Does Instagram Keep Making Apps Like Boomerang for Making GIF-Like Videos?

This week, Instagram released a new app called Boomerang in efforts to grow its need for world domination in the mobile market. This time, they took aim at popular GIF-like apps such as Phhhoto and Apple's New Live Photos. I am a huge fan of Instagram and it has helped me grow my love for photography into something far greater than I ever thought possible, but I have no idea why they keep creating exact copies of already existing apps. Are they trying to simply steal market share? Or, are their hopes to do what Twitter and Periscope did to Meerkat by creating something far better on a larger scale?

Instagram's opening statement for the app is: "It's not a photo. It's not a GIF. It's a Boomerang." That quite literally makes no sense considering it's really all those things in one in that it takes a series of photos, smashes them together, and then spitting out a proprietary GIF-like file format. Before you give me hell as to why apps like this exist, I do get it. They are fun and entertaining and as a society, we are growing to love a faster, more intriguing way to share pieces of our lives on social media. I still believe Instagram is the place to do that (for the most part), with simple videos and photos. Instagram said:

Today, we’re announcing Boomerang from Instagram, a new video app that lets you turn everyday moments into something fun and unexpected. 

How many of you have downloaded and still use their previous releases like Hyperlapse and Layout? For me, Instagram's time could be far better spent putting all of their efforts into their already dominant app. I am sure you could eventually add quick additions to the established platform that would allow you to do things like this without having to create an entire ecosystem of more applications. Again, I love Instagram and I fully support what they are currently doing with the app and the vast amounts of updates they have made to create a beautiful UI, all augmented by the incredible community of users, but the separate copycat apps is a bit of a waste to me. Hell, if they wanted that market badly enough, they could probably just go out and buy Phhhoto.

What do you think? Do you feel they are going a bit overboard with an ecosystem style of app-building? Should they look to build it all-in-one? 

Boomerang is available on both the App Store as well as Google Play now. 

[via Instagram]

Andrew Griswold's picture

Andrew Griswold is a photographer and designer based in Indianapolis. Born and raised in Indy he has made a name for himself by staying very active in the creative community in both photography and design. He has also founded a community of photographers via Instagram connecting them with brands to work with and shoot locally.

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Though some consider Instagram more of a marketing tool, let's not forget it's a novelty app for masses of people who just share photos for fun and entertainment. So having them develop (...copy?) an app that will cater more users to enjoy Instagram is not really that surprising.


The whole gif thing...some people do it right and others just make it look really scary.

Yes Instagram-please work on easy sharing, photo saving, and 30 sec videos instead of useless GIFs.

Hell if I know :P

Andrew, I'm prescribing a trip to Colorado for you.

I'm not sure how that will help but if you are paying...I am all in!

For his birthday this year, I helped my son buy a home in Colorado (so I don't have to stay at a hotel when I visit him). It's in one of the cities where you cannot purchase cannabis. I suggest you visit a city other than his.

Why the hell not?

since this happened my feed is full of porn gif's now. strange.

I think it's great, I'm looking forward to trying it out on a shoot. What I'd really like to see though is support for Live Photos on iOS, because it's easier for me to just be taking regular snapshots.

Ow, I do not even know, have no idea. I use only zen-promo.com to gain my followers sometimes. And sometimes to unfollow non followers. But what with other programs .. I do not even care. Seriously, why I need it?