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Instagram’s Boomerang Gets New Features to Compete with TikTok

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by Christopher Hamman · 3 min read
Instagram’s Boomerang Gets New Features to Compete with TikTok
Photo: Unsplash

It is said that the newly introduced features have been expected by many users.

Instagram’s Boomerang has received an upgrade. Apart from looping, users of the social networking platform will be able to do a bit more with their videos. The platform has introduced new tools to try to compete with TikTok.

The features have been expected by many users. One of the features is the trimming effect. This improves playback control for videos when editing. Other effects include “SlowMo” which reduces playback by 50%, “Echo” which produces blurry playback and “Duo” which produces “glitchy” effects. According to sources, a spokesperson for Instagram said:

“Your Instagram camera gives you ways to express yourself and easily share what you’re doing, thinking or feeling with your friends.”

Instagram’s Boomerang Improves Users’ Video Experience

These effects improve the end-user experience and many users are expected to use them to express themselves in better ways using video. Many have noted however that these effects aren’t new to the social media space. Snapchat and TikTok have had theirs as well. It seems though that this has become a wakeup call for Facebook Inc. Facebook is still the 600-pound gorilla in the social media market. That status is being challenged by a new set of social media applications that have brought new experiences to the table.

It has also raised the prospects for the United States that is losing its status as the undisputed king of technology. TikTok which is owned by Bytedance (a Beijing-based technology company) has ruffled feathers politically and militarily.

China Goes Head-to-head with the U.S. as regards Technology

In late December last year, reports indicate that the U.S. Navy banned the use of the TikTok App on government-issued phones. TikTok was added to the U.S. Navy’s blacklist following security concerns. The U.S. Army has also censored TikTok in the light of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s comments on the use of the platform as a tool for recruitment. This represents fears within the U.S. establishment.

Chinese technology firms are taking market share from their American rivals. With TikTok’s growing popularity among American teenagers, these fears have taken deep root. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) wrote to the then Acting Director of National Intelligence in October on the issue. Reportedly, the said in the letter that

“With over 110 million downloads in the US alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore.”

It all came after TikTok was allegedly censoring political content. TikTok denied the allegations.

This also raised further concerns about the storage of data and access to the data of American users by the Chinese government. Bytedance had also refuted those allegations. They said that all data that came in from the American market were stored on American soil and in Singapore.

Facebook Inc., has had its own issues with the U.S. establishment. They range from alleged privacy breaches to the launch of Libra.

The U.S. government seems to have lost its grip on technology development. This is hampering the role of America being the world leader in technology. One thing is certain about technology and politics: they shouldn’t be mixed.

News, Social Media, Technology News
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