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Facebook adds support for Apple Live photos

Facebook has just added support for Apple’s Live photos, and the world just got a little more Harry Potter-esque!

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Apple and Facebook, sittin’ in a tree

Apple got a big boost from Facebook recently, as the social networking giant announced it’s begun introducing support for Live Photos on its app for the iPhone and iPad.

Apple debuted Live Photos just under 3 months ago with the rollout of the iPhone 6s. When you snap a picture with Apple’s iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you get a Live Photo by default.

The feature results in an image that includes about 1.5 seconds of motion and audio before and after you pressed the shutter button, capturing a moment in action. The resulting action moment is reminiscent of the living portraits of “Harry Potter.” While Apple prefers not to call the results a video, these Live Photos are essentially tiny videos in a proprietary file format.

Yahoo’s Tumblr service already supports Live Photos

And now these tiny videos are getting easier to share on social media. Facebook is adding the ability to share Live Photos. There’s little difference between uploading a Live Photo and a regular picture. In fact, it’s identical, aside from one extra step.

Simply open the Facebook app on your iPhone 6S or 6S Plus and tap the camera button. If a photo in your camera rolls happens to be Live Photo-enabled, a “LIVE” box will appear in the bottom right; tap that, and the image will upload as a Live Photo. Don’t tap it, and only a still image will go up.

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You will have to tap that label manually for each Live Photo. You can add a message or description and hit the Post button to upload your Live Photos to Facebook. Because Live Photos include 1.5 seconds of audio and video before and after you hit the shutter button, make sure there isn’t anything that was accidentally captured you don’t want to make public.

The feature will be available to just a small percentage of members at first, and will gradually roll out to more in the coming weeks. Users included in the app rollout are running iOS 9 and can view others’ shared Live Photos. For now, those with Android phones, Macs or Windows PCs will simply see a static picture.


Written By

Nichole earned a Master's in Sociology from Texas State University and has publications in peer-reviewed journals. She has spent her career in tech and advertising. Her writing interests include the intersection of tech and society. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Communication and Media Studies at Murdoch University.

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