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As Instagram axes its Boomerang and Hyperlapse apps, how should brands react?

If your brand has long resisted registering its own account on Instagram, this could be for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you just think your particular target audience isn’t all that active on Instagram, or fear that this platform would be overly hard for you to get to grips with.

The latter fear would be understandable, given how the Instagram ecosystem has significantly broadened in functionality over the years. However, functional doesn’t necessarily mean complex – and Instagram might have helped matters recently by dropping two of its standalone apps.

What has happened to Boomerang and Hyperlapse?

Now you see them, now you don’t! Up until early March, Instagram offered Boomerang and Hyperlapse as mobile apps nonetheless readily compatible with the main Instagram app.

In essence, the two complementary apps served as creative tools aimed at helping Instagram users to get the most out of the platform. Boomerang enabled users to produce one-second looped videos, while Hyperlapse allowed users to capture time-lapse footage.

However, the two apps – originally introduced in 2015 and 2014 respectively – are no more. “We’ve removed support for the standalone Boomerang and Hyperlapse apps to better focus our efforts on the main app,” an Instagram spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.

“We’ll continue working on new ways for people to be creative and have fun on Instagram,” the spokesperson added. Those ‘new ways’ won’t include tweaks to Instagram’s independent IGTV app – which, as Instagram’s parent company Meta told TechCrunch in February, is also set to be axed.

No, video hasn’t killed the social media star

One thing all of these chopped apps have in common is their focus on video creation. However, Instagram’s ultimate aim is to make exactly that – video creation – intuitive to use from within the social media brand’s main app. 

In other words, the overriding objective is to simply streamline functionality rather than take it away. Hence, if your brand hasn’t yet dipped its toes into the Instagram waters, now could be an especially good time for it to do so. After all, you will have a wealth of creative functionality at your fingertips right from Instagram’s main dashboard.  

While on the subject of waters, you might admittedly have long associated Instagram with bikini-clad celebrities and ‘influencers’ sharing photos of themselves at swimming pools. So, it might not look like the most immediately obvious marketing channel for, say, a plumber or tech repair shop.

However, you should be careful not to be swayed by silly, lingering stereotypes about Instagram. Consider how, through posting video to the platform, a plumber could show someone how to inspect their pipes or a tech repair shop could reveal warning signs of a failing phone battery.

Your social presence doesn’t have to be so-so

In the human brain, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. It certainly bodes well, then, that Instagram is a very visual platform. With help from our digital marketing experts, you can use Instagram to share – under your brand’s banner – photos, videos or a carefully judged mix of both.

As Instagram axes its Boomerang and Hyperlapse apps, how should brands react?
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