Instagram’s Boomerang App Was the Life of Your Fourth of July Party

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Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

As the dust and hangovers from the Fourth of July settle and Instagram’s algorithm finally starts showing you pictures you want to see from last weekend, you might start to notice a trend: video. Specifically, video produced using Instagram’s sister app, Boomerang, which works by taking a number of photos in rapid succession and then cutting them together into a GIF loop, resulting in your newsfeed filling with two-second clips of your friends doing cannonballs into pools, eating mustard-laden hot dogs, and watching fireworks. Lots and lots of them.

Instagram tells Select All the company saw a significant increase in video posts on Monday, July 4. Compared to the previous Monday, video production on the app was up by 26 percent. And while that’s a decent jump, it’s likely many social platforms (like Instagram’s video-obsessed parent company, Facebook) also saw a spike in video shares as a result of the holiday. The bigger number is that, Instagram says, Boomerang video production jumped by 157 percent compared to the previous week. (Full disclosure, I used Boomerang to post twice this weekend.)

In case you’re not familiar, Boomerang works best for shooting images that might be difficult to get in focus or in the frame with a traditional still photo. (Fireworks, your uncle about to do a belly flop, pretty much anything in midair fits the bill.) With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Instagram’s short-video maker was the app of choice this weekend. A big part of why Boomerang is fun is because it’s easy to use and if you haven’t seen it before, the finished product looks pretty impressive. Like you spent a lot of time and effort getting that video just right. When in reality, the app, with its more limited editing options, might actually be simpler to use than Instagram. Either way, Boomerang definitely had a moment last weekend, which means it probably won’t be long until people get bored and start looking for a different way to create Instagram posts. Which means, Instagram, if you’re listening, you have just under a year to come up with something new and cool for 2017.