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How to Make a Boomerang

A boomerang flies forward, then it comes back. Instagram Boomerang works the same way. It’s a video loop that plays forward for 1 second, then back, then forward, then back…endlessly, for as long as you want to watch it.

It sounds trivial but Boomerangs are oddly mesmerizing and, once you start doing them, it’s hard to stop. As Instagram notes, “It makes everyday moments fun and unexpected.”

And it’s easy to do. You can download the app separately or, if you already have Instagram, you can access Boomerang in Instagram Stories. (Instagram owns the app.)

At the bottom of your Stories camera screen, you’ll see two buttons: Normal and Boomerang. Tap Boomerang. Or, if you’ve downloaded Boomerang as a standalone app, just open it up.

You know you’re in Boomerang when you see the infinity loop () in your shutter button. Now just choose the camera you want to use (front- or rear-facing). Then find something or someone interesting and tap and hold the shutter. (Keep your phone steady for the best result.)

Boomerang does the rest. It quickly shoots a series of 10 photos, assembles them, smooths out the gaps and, in a few seconds, creates your video loop.

A tip: Your Boomerang will be more eye-catching if you “boom” a subject that’s in motion. Say, you and your friends raising your glasses in a toast. A kid throwing a ball. Yourself eating a carrot. Whatever. As we mentioned, Boomerangs are weirdly fascinating no matter the subject. Epicness is not required.

When your Boomerang is done, the app takes you directly to a preview screen where you can watch it and share it to Instagram or Facebook. You can also text it to a friend, email it, tweet it or send it with Facebook Messenger. Or save it to your phone’s video gallery. If you export it to Instagram, you can edit it.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next week with another Tuesday Tip. Or check our Facebook page for progressive news every day.