Instagram's Hyperlapse app aims for smooth time-lapse video

Make hyperlapse videos at the touch of a button with Instagram's new standalone app.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
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Lexy Savvides
2 min read


Instagram wants to make dynamic time-lapse videos easier with a standalone app called Hyperlapse.

Time-lapse photography is a popular technique that has been used by photographers for years. Images are taken at set intervals over a long period and then sped up in a video to make it look like time is passing quickly.

A hyperlapse uses a similar technique, except the camera itself is moving across a large distance as images are being shot -- for example, by moving the tripod between each shot, or taking images from a moving vehicle. This can add a cinematic quality to finished videos, but traditional hyperlapses can be time-consuming and complex to make.

Instagram's implementation, announced Tuesday, focuses on ease of use. There is no login required to use the Hyperlapse app. When it launches, you are presented with the video camera. Use the start/stop button to record and the green check mark to save direct to the Camera Roll.


Adjustments can be made to change playback speed from 1x (normal recorded speed) all the way up to 12x. The app lets you take up to 45 minutes of raw footage; when sped up it makes for a much quicker video.

Instagram has also applied the same video image stabilisation technology found in the regular app to Hyperlapse, so footage is smooth. Users can import video into the Instagram app for sharing and filter effects, but will be limited to 15 seconds of footage like any other Instagram video.

"The most obvious people we expect to really have fun with it are creatives and photographers," an Instagram spokesperson told CNET.

Microsoft has also reportedly been working on a standalone Windows app designed to make smooth hyperlapse footage.

Hyperlapse is the second standalone app from Instagram, following Bolt which was released in July. Bolt offers a Snapchat-like service that lets users send video and picture messages to friends.

Hyperlapse will be available today through the iTunes Store and is only on iOS at the moment.