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How to share Live Photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Learn how you can share your iPhone's Live Photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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If you have an iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus or iPhone SE and you enjoy the Live Photos feature that captures a few seconds of video when you snap a photo, then sooner or later you will create a Live Photo worth sharing on social media.

Your sharing options for Live Photos, however, are limited. Facebook supports Live Photos, but only your Facebook friends using the Facebook iOS app and running iOS 9 will be able to make the picture move. Even then, they'll have to notice the little Live Photo icon in the lower-right corner and 3D Touch or (on older devices) press-and-hold on the photo to put it in motion.

For Instagram and Twitter, neither supports Live Photos.

If you want to share a Live Photo to a wider audience on Facebook or to any audience on Instagram, you need to convert a Live Photo to a video. For Twitter, you can use either a video or a GIF.

Convert Live Photos to GIFs or videos

Two free apps make it easy to convert Live Photos to videos or GIFs: Lively and LP Converter. (Each app also lets you grab a still frame from a Live Photo to share as a photo if you don't like the image that your iPhone selected.)



Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Lively is free but adds a watermark to GIFs and still photos that you export from the app, though movies you export avoid the watermark. An in-app purchase of $2.99, £2.29, or AU$4.49 removes the watermarks.

The app lets you trim the start and end points of a GIF or video, and for GIFs you can play the action backward or have it autoreverse so you end up back at the beginning each time it plays. You can also adjust the playback speed and choose one of two export sizes.


LP Converter

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

LP Converter is free, not to mention ad-free and watermark-free. It doesn't provide any trimming tools but offers edit tools for GIFs to adjust the playback speed and set a file-size limit. There is also a slider to adjust the frame rate and resolution of GIFs; lowering the frame rate increases the resolution and vice versa.

With either app, you can save your creation to your iPhone's Camera Roll, and then from there share it with the world.

Heads-up: GIFs you save to your Camera Roll will not show any movement when you view them using the Photos app, but as soon as you attach one to a tweet, the GIF begins to play.

Because I use Instagram and Facebook more than Twitter, I prefer Lively to LP Converter because it offers more edit tools and doesn't watermark the videos. For free and watermark-free Live Photos-to-GIF conversion, give the LP Converter a try.

Google wants to be your GIF maker

Google jumped into the Live Photos-conversion game today with its free Motion Stills app.

Like Lively and LP Conversion, Motion Stills lets you save Live Photos as GIFs or videos for wider sharing options. It doesn't feature any edit tools for trimming or adjusting playback speed, but it does let you combine multiple clips in a single video. And Google trumpets the app's "advanced stabilization and rendering" abilities.

If you are new to Live Photos, then learn how to get the most out of Live Photos.