Instagram has pulled the Boomerang and Hyperlapse apps from the Apple and Google app stores. While the company was expected to wind down the IGTV app, the removal of these two apps was a surprise.
Instagram is Focusing on its Main App
Hyperlapse was first launched in 2014 and the video looping app Boomerang came out the next year in 2015. At the time of publication, Engadget reports that Boomerang was still navigable via a direct link but was no longer showing in search results. The apps were removed from the respective stores quietly and without official notice, but Meta tells Engadget that it pulled the apps to focus its development on the main app.
Last year, Instagram shut down Threads, a standalone app that was designed to let users share photos, videos, messages, and stories with close Instagram friends. The last of the Instagram spin-off apps, Layout, appears to be unaffected, at least for the time being.
According to data provided to TechCrunch, Hyperlapse and Boomerang have been absent from the app store since March 1. That same data showed that of the two apps, Boomerang had the larger install base of 301 lifetime global downloads compared to Hyperlapse’s 23 million.
Hyperlapse and Boomerang were created as standalone apps in a time when Facebook and Instagram appeared to be concerned about packing the main apps with too many features. This is far less of a concern today, as Instagram has continued to add new features and capabilities to the app regularly in order to compete for users’ attention and stave off the likes of Snapchat and TikTok.
IGTV is Gone, Too
While the removal of Hyperlapse and Boomerang comes as a surprise, Instagram told users to expect IGTV to be set out to pasture.
In October, Facebook (now Meta) said it would be merging the long-form video format of IGTV with regular videos in feeds and increasing how long those videos were allowed to be (up to 60-minutes). IGTV would be rebranded Instagram TV as the main app focuses on a more seamless video experience. But last week, Instagram changed those plans again and announced that it would be shutting down the standalone IGTV app entirely.
As part of that announcement, Instagram reiterated its commitment to Reels and pointed to the format as the largest contributor to engagement growth on the app.
Image credits: Elements of header photo licensed via Depositphotos.