The Flash Pack’s Guide to GIF-Making Apps

2nd Feb

DSCO, Boomerang, Phhhoto, Giffage – all of the choices out there making GIFs on the fly can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, The Flash Pack is here to help.


Welcome to the Age of the GIF

Go to any web page, pull up any social app or just sit still for about 30 seconds – one will surely catch your eye: GIFs are taking over. As a result, the market for GIF creation has simply exploded in recent months.

Back in October, Instagram launched Boomerang, a standalone accompaniment to its main platform, designed with the sole intention of flooding everyone’s feeds with even more moving image mastery. Days later, the photo filtering king VSCO fired back with DSCO, its own take on the matter. But these newcomers are just the latest entrants into an ever-expanding crowd of GIF-making apps including Phhhoto, Giphy, Tumblr’s GIF-making feature and GifX.

Here at The Flash Pack, we’ve taken a long hard look at all of these GIF apps so that you can get straight to the memory making. Though it’s too soon to say who will win as more apps flood the market and consumers become more fickle, it’s not too soon for us to help you pick the perfect app for your GIF-making needs.



For the casual GIF creator, Boomerang is clearly the better choice. Its interface is clean and simple to use and is fully integrated with its heavyweight parent platforms, Instagram and Facebook. Boomerang allows users to take a sudden, rapid-fire burst of five photos, which it then instantly converts into a fun and snappy looping video.

Boomerang’s time limit is the app’s biggest drawback. The one-second window can cramp your style – dancing babies need a few seconds to strut their stuff, after all. It’s also worth mentioning that as of January 2016, snaps you take in Boomerang will get slightly cropped when uploaded to Instagram. So be warned: if you want to get the full frame in, make sure to shoot a little wider! That said, if you want a clean, eye-catching, but short video, Boomerang is your best bet.


GIF-creators looking for more power and control should probably opt for DSCO. The app’s time constraints are more flexible than Boomerang’s – somewhat similarly to Snapchat’s video feature, users can simply hold down their finger for a longer burst of photos. Alternatively, tapping the finger will create a quick, recursive loop.

Moreover, DSCO comes fully loaded with a number of VSCO’s overlay filters and allows users to share their creations on a variety of social networking sites (i.e. not just Facebook and Instagram). However, its biggest advantage is the community: by using DSCO, users join the ranks of the more serious, VSCO-loving photographers across the globe.

That said, DSCO offers fewer filters than Boomerang, and is only available for iOS, at least for now. According to VSCO, more filters and an Android app are forthcoming.

The “Other Guys”

Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Although Boomerang and DSCO are the major players, they’re not necessarily the be-all, end-all for everyone. Phhhoto, though less well-known than Boomerang and DSCO, has been around for just over a year and already boasts over one million users and 10 million GIFs. It includes a discovery tab titled “WOW,” and adds new seasonally-themed filters throughout the year. It also has a “Party” feature for GIF-sharing amongst friends.

Giffage is the resident minimalist: just choose a background or filter, and tap the screen to record video and share. GifX (they’re different, so pay attention!) bills itself as the GIF-making app “for creative people,” and lives up to its own hype by including psychedelic backgrounds and filters for a more “off-beat” experience.

Step Up Your Game

These apps are great for people looking to have a little fun who want to build some nifty animated images in a decidedly DIY sort of way. But if you’re looking for some high-quality, custom GIFs that are really going to take people’s breath away, you need to call in the big guns.

We at The Flash Pack have turned GIF-making into an honest-to-god art form, and have developed a number of innovative and stylish interpretations of this well-worn, but increasingly viral format.

From our 3D Booth’s spellbinding stereoscopic images to our 360 Bullet Rig’s one-of-a-kind, matrix-style videos, we’ve got everything you need to kick your visual content up a notch and make it stand out from the crowd.

If you’re partial to the traditional animated GIF but are still looking for something new and different, you’ll love our new Hyper-GIF. We’ve taken our beloved GIF Booth and upped the ante considerably – the Hyper-GIF booth records a short, high-res video, which is then converted into a multitude of individual frames and stitched together, creating a remarkably fluid and expressive animated, looping image that’s instantly ready to share.


Point is, if you’re looking to take your GIFs to the next level, you’ve definitely come to the right place.