Instagram Hyperlapse: How and When You Should Use It
Recently Instagram introduced Hyperlapse, a new app that captures high-quality moving time-lapse videos. As more content is being created outside the office, marketers are understandably eager to get hands-on with it — and many already have. But before you start incorporating Hyperlapse into campaigns, you need to know how the app compares to Instagram’s existing tools and, more importantly, when to use it.

What Is Hyperlapse?

As you become more creative and daring with your videos, it’s necessary that the tools you’re using keep up. Traditionally, time-lapse videos meant that you had to hold your phone or camera still while you filmed. Hyperlapse, however, features built-in stabilization technology that lets you create moving, handheld time-lapses that result in a cinematic look, quality, and feel. Although the result is nothing new, it was previously only achieved through using expensive equipment.

With a single record button and a post-capture screen, Instagram has simplified the time-lapse process substantially. On your iOS device, tap the circle at the bottom of the app to start filming. While recording, you’ll see a timer on the left that shows how long your recording is and a timer on the right that shows how long it’ll be once it’s sped up. Tap the circle again to stop recording. Your footage will be instantly stabilized.

Although you can’t edit or add filters to your video within the Hyperlapse app, you can choose from different speeds, going up to 12x. By default, videos are set to 6x, which means that your video will be six times faster than the original recording. For context, a 60-second video at 6x would end up being 10 seconds long after it’s sped up. Keep in mind that videos shared on Instagram can be up to 15 seconds long.

When Should You Use It?

As when any new social tool launches, tons of people will use Hyperlapse over the next week to document every activity from eating an orange to running a marathon. As a brand, you’ll be tempted to jump in and start shooting right away, but you can’t afford to waste a second of content. Before you hit record, consider how the new technology will enhance your video as well as your message. Not everything needs to be delivered at hyper speed.

While time-lapse videos are visually stunning and generally a good way of squeezing a lot of content into a small timeframe, too much of the same thing can grow tiring. If every single one of your videos utilizes the same format, eventually they’ll stop standing out in your followers’ feeds. Use Hyperlapse in moderation for the best and biggest impact.

You’ll also want to take into account the space you’re shooting in since you won’t be able to edit your video before posting. For example, if you’re taking fans on a tour of your office — like in this example from Cosmopolitan — entering different rooms could make it difficult for viewers to see, especially while the camera adjusts to changes in light levels. Expect to do a few test runs to get everything perfect.

Another thing to consider is speed and your subject matter. Whipping around corners or flying up and down stairs can create a dizzying effect past a certain speed. Don’t make it difficult for viewers to keep up with your subject. You might need to experiment with different speeds in order to strike the right balance.

Who’s Using Hyperlapse Right?

By now you’ve probably seen dozens of Hyperlapsed videos from brands. Here are a few videos we think are standouts based on the tips we shared above.

Bud Light

Bud Light’s Hyperlapse video tells a story in 15 seconds and complements its existing summertime campaign nicely. Even if the concept was created just for the sake of trying out the app, it worked.

Dr. Pepper

This video from Dr. Pepper is a good example of content that could work with existing Instagram tools, but is enhanced by time-lapse technology. Although it doesn’t necessarily tell a story, it’s a fun way to show off the product.

Oreo and Ashleigh Nguyen

Similarly, here’s another instance of content that could work well with photos or videos, but is enhanced by time-lapse. What’s different about this video, however, is that it wasn’t filmed by the brand itself. Rather, a fan of the brand who participated in Oreo’s #MiniDelivery promotion took it upon herself to share her unboxing using Hyperlapse. It’s a fantastic example of user-generated content.