Tick tock, TikTok

Instagram’s Boomerang scores new features including SlowMo and Trimming

Echo blurring and a fast rewind are also hitting the app

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As Snapchat gains some momentum for the first time in a long time and TikTok wins over the hearts and minds of Zoomers, Instagram is playing catch-up. The oldie-but-goodie Boomerang feature is getting some upgrades that allow for more creativity, TechCrunch reports. Users can now enjoy video trimming, slow motion, a motion blur effect, and a glitchy, fast rewind effect on the latest version of the app.

The new features — Mobile app researcher Jane Manchun Wong first discovered the trimming feature being tested last November. Instagram took to Twitter on Friday to announce the rollout of this feature and three others:

  • Trimming: Instead of making exhaustive attempts to get the perfect Boomerang, you can simply edit it down.
  • SlowMo: Create half-speed loops for more dramatic and comedic effects.
  • Echo: This motion blurring effect puts a double-vision appearance on the moving subject to create a sense of disorientation.
  • Duo: This both speeds and slows the clip, rewinding to the beginning with a glitch that adds “a texturized effect.”

TikTok, is that you? — Though it’s been able to hide behind Facebook’s skirt for a while, Instagram needs to learn to stand on its own again as its parent company faces increased criticism. The power the platform’s gleaned with Facebook’s backing has allowed it get cozy, occasionally cribbing competitors’ features to maintain relevance.

Instagram is already testing “Reels,” an in-app TikTok dupe, in Brazil and it famously copied Snapchat stories. The video editing and effects tools launched today can already be found among a host of others in TikTok. Can users continue to support an inferior copycat, especially creators spoiled by Snapchat’s Lenses and TikTok’s effects?