How to bring pictures to life using the MyHeritage Deep Nostalgia app

Animate pictures of your loved ones or famous people using the app that's all over TikTok.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET analyzing tech trends while also writing news, reviews and commentaries across mobile, streaming and online culture. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has three times been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read

You may've seen the videos all over social media of people tearing up as they watch their loved ones come to life in old photos. Using an app from genealogy company MyHeritage and a feature called Deep Nostalgia, they're able to turn headshots into short, animated clips that show the people in them moving and blinking. In the first 48 hours after the tool launched late last month, MyHeritage said more than 1 million photos were animated. 

In addition to family members, people have also had fun bringing historical figures to life, including Albert Einstein and the Beatles.

Here's how to animate your own photos

  1. First, download the free MyHeritage app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Then, open the app and click on Photos at the bottom of the landing page.
  3. Hit the plus icon at the bottom right corner. Select Add photos.
  4. Choose the photo you want to upload. Then, hit the checkmark at the top right corner. Last, hit Upload.
  5. You'll see your image appear under the Photos tab, which shows all the pictures you've uploaded. Click on the picture you want to animate.
  6. At the top of your screen toward the left, you'll see a little circle icon with three lines below it. Click on that, and MyHeritage will do its magic. 
  7. Done! You'll see the person in the image you uploaded move his or her head and look around. You can hit the Share button at the top to post the animation to social media or send to friends and family. 

If you can get over the mild creepiness of this Deep Nostalgia feature, it's a really cool way to add a touch of life to still images and feel like you're watching someone get ready to pose for a shot. We'll sit tight until AI can find a way to make people in pictures talk, too, so that we'll have the full Harry Potter comes to life experience.