Users can now post iOS Live Photos as animated GIFs on Twitter

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

There are apps that can convert Apple’s special Live Photo image format into an animated GIF, but Twitter announced Wednesday that it is making it easy by doing the conversion natively. It really could not be more simple.

All you have to do is open the Twitter iOS app and start a post. Tap the photo icon and select a Live Photo from your camera roll as usual. When the preview appears, tap the new GIF icon in the lower-left corner of the picture. Finish drafting your tweet with anything you want to say then post it. The finished tweet will display the Live Photo as a GIF.

Apple introduced Live Photos in 2015 with iOS 9 as a unique feature for the iPhone 6S. Live Photos look like regular pictures until you press them, then they come to life as a short 3-second video with sound.

The concept is novel, but its usefulness is limited to sharing with others who have an iPhone. Attempting to share the photos on another platform just displays them as a still image. The new Twitter feature preserves the motion but loses the sound since GIFs cannot store audio.

Twitter says that the functionality is available now, but a quick check on my Twitter app revealed the option is not there for me. It is possible that not all regions have received the update yet.

Image credit: mirtmirt via Shutterstock

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