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Hyperlapse, the new app from Instagram, is about to change the way you watch video online

Anyone who has ever taken a handheld video knows that medium’s Achilles’ heel: No matter how hard you try to hold your hand still, the frame shakes and pitches and generally nauseates anyone who tries to watch it.

With a new video app for iOS, Instagram promises to change all that: Hyperlapse, released to the app store this morning, will not only condense user videos into trendy time-lapses, but it will also auto-stabilize them. Essentially, Hyperlapse is promising to overcome the two main drawbacks of cellphone videos: (1) Their length/file size and (2) those dreadful wobbles. Observe:

With a new video app for iOS, Instagram promises to stabilize shaky video with Hyperlapse. In addition to auto-stabilization, the new feature will also condense videos into trendy time-lapses. (Courtesy of Instagram)

This type of stabilization technology isn’t new, of course: Google has dedicated many researchers (and many years) to its YouTube Video Editor, which also smooths out shaky clips. But YouTube’s processing can be slow, and it’s certainly not practical for people trying to share quick clips of their cats or their kids on the fly.

Hyperlapse, with its split-second editing and built-in social integration, promises to do both. Which means you’ll probably see a whole lot of these sped-up little videos over the next few weeks.

A word of advice: Even though stabilization promises to “professionalize” your photos, you may still want to take some tips from the pros. Don’t just take a video of any 0ld thing — time-lapses are, at least traditionally, supposed to condense a much longer scene or make patterns visible that wouldn’t be otherwise. And hold your phone steady, or even stand still. At this early stage, at least, that’s what the less-dizzying Hyperlapses seem to do.

Most importantly, don’t go crazy. We all like a good timelapse, but could do without 500 in our Instagram feeds.

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (
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