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Facebook is buying into Apple’s new photo format on mobile

Reuters/Beck Diefenbach
There’s an app for that, now.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The future of photos is short videos, if Apple is to be believed. The company introduced a new feature with its most recent phones, called Live Photos, where the camera records a short clip before and after the photo you shoot, resulting in a Harry Potter-esque moving photo, capturing the emotion and vibrance of the scene. And now, Facebook, the most popular mobile app in the US, is buying into Apple’s new standard.

The social network announced Monday (Dec. 21) that it will start rolling out support for the moving photos on mobile. But as the feature is still relatively new, TechCrunch reports, Facebook will be slowly adding the feature across the next year. (Right now, the only phones that can take Live Photos are the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.)

Just like regular photos.

The process will essentially be the same as uploading a regular photo onto Facebook, but users will have to press a little button labeled “live” to enable the animated version. Once uploaded, photos will appear static in friends’ feeds, with the option to press and hold down on an icon to make them move. As they won’t require 3D Touch—Apple’s new feature that gives additional functionality to an app when the screen is pressed hard—any phone updated to iOS 9 should be able to see the photos.

Facebook wasn’t immediately available for comment on whether the feature would be rolled out on Instagram, its social network just for sharing photos. Instagram now has over 400 million users worldwide, who happen to be some of the most valuable online shoppers. It remains to be seen whether Apple’s live photos will actually take off—they’re only available on two models, and still a bit of a gimmick to show off the capability of 3D Touch. But with Facebook backing the concept, it’s got a chance to be widely adopted. If it doesn’t, though, there’s always GIFs.

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