Boomerangs and GIFs for a Photobooth
Boomerang is a fairly new app from social media giant Instagram that breaks the boundaries on what social media content is supposed to be. How? Well to quote Instagram, “It’s not a photo. It’s not a gif. It’s a Boomerang.”
Boomerang works by taking a super short, super fast burst of photos and stitching them together into a mini video that plays forward and backward and forward and backward and—well, you get the idea.
The app first picked up speed with social media influencers (like the Jenner sisters) and has even encouraged some friendly competition amongst other popular photo-editing apps. VCSO, an app aimed at photo editing for more serious iPhoneographers, recently unveiled DSCO, “a free GIF-making app designed with VSCO’s superior imaging technology.”
GIFs Are Big Fun, Too
The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF /dʒɪf/ JIF or /ɡɪf/ GHIF), is a bitmap image format that was developed by a team at the online services provider CompuServe led by American computer scientist Steve Wilhite on June 15, 1987. It has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability between many applications and operating systems.
The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image, allowing a single image to reference its own palette of up to 256 different colors chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of up to 256 colors for each frame. These palette limitations make GIF less suitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with color gradients, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color.
GIF images are compressed using the Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique to reduce the file size without degrading the visual quality. This compression technique was patented in 1985. Controversy over the licensing agreement between the software patent holder, Unisys, and CompuServe in 1994 spurred the development of the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) standard. By 2004 all the relevant patents had expired.