Apple’s Live Photos when shared outside an Apple apps, appear as regular images. Tumblr, Getty Images started supported these animated images but as a curated section. Joining the band wagon, Facebook will now let you share Live Photos on its iPhone and iPad app. Facebook will start offering it to a limited number of users initially, with a broader rollout planned in the coming weeks.
When you take a picture with the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you get a photo that’s still and a preview that’s animated. Much like a .gif image called Live Photos. The images are a second and a half of footage before and after the instance that you hit the shutter button. The short snippet is accompanied by sound to make pictures like blowing out candles more engrossing. So, the phone automatically records video in the background when the camera app is open. The recording is immediately discarded if you do nothing.
Why not just take video? You might not know ahead of time when you’ll encounter a scene lending itself to video. With Live Photos, you always get the video option — unless you turn the feature off.
But sharing had been limited to certain Apple apps — such as the texting app Messages, but not Mail.
With tools Apple is making available to third parties, sharing can now be done through Facebook and Tumblr, too. Your friend merely needs to tap and hold the photo to watch the image animate. The iPhone 6s models are required for creating Live Photos, but viewing can also be done on older iPhones and iPads with the latest operating system. On Android and Web browsers, you get only the still images.
Besides Facebook and Tumblr, Getty Images is also offering a selection of Live Photos through its app. It’s a curated selection, though, rather than a mechanism for sharing photos with friends.