How to Use Boomerang on Instagram (+ New Boomerang Effects)

July 21, 2020
Hugh Stephens

What do you do when an Instagram photo seems like not enough to tell the story and creating a full video clip feels like too much work? You send an Instagram Boomerang, of course. In this guide, you’ll learn all about it.

What makes Instagram so enticing to you, as a brand?

To me, it’s the social network’s ability to keep growing with new features that help us engage users more and more and more.

Stickers, filters, live streaming, animated videos, and more help me stay creative and showcase my brand in so many different ways. 

But sometimes I just want to post something short but not a photo either. Nothing fancy, just a quick loop that says it all, and that’s where Instagram Boomerang comes in. 

Want to learn more about it? 

Well, just keep on reading, then.

What is Instagram Boomerang?

Boomerang first showed up in 2015 as a video app created by Instagram that allowed you to record looping videos that looked just like animated GIFs. 

The app allows you to take hypnotic videos showcasing your everyday moments, made out of a one-second video clip that plays in a loop for six seconds.

According to Instagram, these back-and-forth mini-videos fit in between images and videos. 

In fact, Boomerang’s original tagline was: 

“It’s not a photo. It’s not a GIF. It’s a Boomerang.”

And that’s exactly what made Boomerang appealing. Boomerang clips are simpler to create than proper video and more appealing than an image.

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How to Access Boomerang on Instagram

There are two ways to create an Instagram Boomerang and both options are very simple. It’s just a few steps to turn your “best of photos” into a new creative Instagram story.

#1. Using the Boomerang app

The first option requires you to download the Boomerang app on your phone. 

To find it, search for “Boomerang from Instagram” on the app store. 

Note: You don’t have to sign up to start using it. Just download the app and you’re ready to go.

Here are the steps to follow next:

  1. Open the Boomerang app
  2. Create a video loop (Boomerang). The app has only one button that instantly created the Boomerang clip.
  3. Share on Instagram and/or Facebook
An image showing how to do a Boomerang on Instagram with the Boomerang app.

Source: Instagram

You can either share the Boomerang directly through the app or download the video to your camera roll to upload it later through the Instagram app. It’s a very simple process and many users love it. In fact, there is only one click to create your Boomerang so it’s easy for everyone.

#2. Using Instagram Stories

The second option is simply about accessing the Boomerang mode through Instagram Stories.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Swipe left
  3. Create a video loop (Boomerang) tapping into the infinity symbol at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Apply filters or add any stickers that you want
  5. Share the Story

The option to create a Boomerang video through the Stories camera can be simpler if you don’t want to download an additional app on your phone.

Screenshot of a Boomerang on an Instagram story.

Source: Instagram

Using the New Instagram Boomerang Effects 

Boomerangs are an amazing way to create fun content for Instagram. And they can be even more fun when you use the new Boomerang features and effects.

Just a few months ago, Instagram announced the launch of three new effects. Much like Instagram filters, these effects can help you add a splash of something extra to your Boomerangs:

  • SlowMo: with this filter, your Boomerangs are reduced to half-speed, which means that your video is playing for two seconds for each direction
  • Echo: this effect creates a double vision effect to your Boomerang. It can help your content stand out and be more artistic through a motion blur at the moving parts of the video
  • Duo: this is an effect that is rapidly rewinding your clip to the beginning to give a digitized look to it. It can be very creative if you pick the right theme and many Instagram users love it.

Moreover, Instagram introduced a trimming feature that gives you more flexibility on the content that you are ultimately sharing. Use it to edit the length of your Boomerang and decide on the exact point that it starts and ends. 

Screenshot showing steps to use the trimming effect on Boomerangs.

Source: Instagram

This way, you don’t need to worry anymore about the parts that you’d rather skip and you can’t. You don’t even need to use an external video editing app to make your Boomerang perfect.

All these options allow you to test your creative skills to understand how each effect can improve your Boomerangs. Not all of them fit in every situation so it’s all about testing and learning what works best for you.

You can access the new effects by following these steps:

  1. Open Instagram Stories
  2. Swipe to the Boomerang mode
  3. Tap in the Infinity icon at the top right of your screen
  4. Choose the effect that you want to use and watch your Boomerang transform right in front of your eyes.

Just like that, you are ready to use all the new Instagram Boomerang filters to find the one you want to use.

Tips to Create Successful Instagram Boomerangs

Now that you know how to create Boomerangs and how to find the latest effects, let’s talk about the best practices for your next Boomerang videos.

As with every creative feature on the social network, tapping the camera button isn’t always enough to increase the audience’s engagement. 

In fact, there are 5 things you need to remember to create better Instagram Boomerang clips.

#1. Your Boomerang video doesn’t have to be perfect

First of all, you need to remember that your Boomerangs don’t have to be perfect. They don’t need to look professional as if you’ve spent a week editing them. Authenticity beats perfectionism. Use your Boomerang videos to highlight your brand and your products in new creative ways.

#2. Plan your narrative

A successful Boomerang video should have some sort of structure. You only have a few seconds to stand out so you want to make the most of them. Think of the theme and how you want to use it every second.

#3. Make it appealing

Right after planning, it’s time for the execution. Your Instagram Boomerang video should be engaging enough to grab someone’s attention. It should be creative but also with a purpose that fits your brand’s Instagram presence.

#4. Focus on the action

What do you want to show in your Boomerang? Is the focus a person, an animal, or an object? Every Boomerang video should have a topic and the action will help the bust of photos look more interesting. After all, you want to highlight the move that is happening and how it’s different from a still image.

#5. Learn from others

Source: BoomerangOfInstagram

There’s no need to worry if you haven’t created many Instagram Boomerang videos in the past. There are many Instagram accounts to inspire you and explore new creative directions. 

One of them is @boomerangfrominstagram featuring a curation of all types of Boomerang videos.

A screenshot of the BoomerangfromInstagram account.


The best way to stay relevant on Instagram is to regularly polish your creative skills with your new ideas.

Boomerang videos allow you to share fun and unexpected clips with your friends to make your Stories more appealing.

You don’t need to be a videographer to create engaging Instagram Boomerang clips. All you need is the time to master all effects.

Ready to take your video skills a step further?


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