A short, hypnotic video catches your attention as you scroll through your Instagram feed. It captures an action – a person jumping into a pile of leaves, a cat chasing a toy, or a spoon digging into an ice cream sundae – in a video that plays forward, then backward, over and over. Without even realizing it, you’ve watched same video 6 times in a row.

Boomerang, an Instagram app, is the mastermind behind these addictive mini-videos. The app shoots a burst of 10 photos, speeds the photos up, and stitches them together into one continuously looping video. Boomerangs are simple, fun and addictive – an excellent addition to your social media marketing toolbox.

Here are a few easy tips to follow to take Boomerangs that people can’t stop watching.

Find the fun in the everyday.

Sure, backflips and fireworks shows are great material for Boomerangs. But seemingly mundane actions can also be mesmerizing in Boomerang form. Scan Instagram for good examples, and brainstorm ideas of your own. What would be on-brand and interesting to your followers? What could you shoot without too much fuss?

Stay in the loop.

Keep in mind that a Boomerang plays forward, then loops backward and starts over again. This circular movement is what makes it so captivating. Think about subjects that take advantage of the rewind aspect (which sets it apart from a normal GIF) – for example, a player sliding into a base or a child on a swing.

Plan and practice.

Sometimes you get lucky, and you’re able to catch the ideal Boomerang out in the wild. But more often, clever Boomerangs need a bit of planning. Map out an idea, imagining how it will look if perfectly executed. Enlist help from your subject or a steady-handed photographer, and practice it a few times. Record multiple takes, and review the results. Make tweaks to improve it before settling on a final Boomerang.

Get advanced with settings.

At first glance, the Boomerang app offers very few adjustable settings. You can hold down the shutter button to take a Boomerang, as well as flip the camera into selfie mode, or turn on the flash. But Boomerang has a secret menu where you can experiment with different modes and frame rates; access it by tapping rapidly several times on the app screen with four fingers. A menu will pop up, allowing you to change default settings:



720p (default)

Boomerang Mode

Forward and Back (default)

Forward and Back (pause)

Forward only

Back only

Frame Count

3 to 10 frames (10 is default)

Long Capture Frame Count

10 to 25 fps (20 is default)

Capture Frame Rate

1 to 20 fps (14 is default)

Playback Frame Rate

1 to 20 fps (20 is default)

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