The move marks the first time a major social network has integrated the Live Photos feature — currently only available on the Apple iPhone 6S and 6S Plus — reports 9to5Mac. Additional updates include live messaging, which was originally rolled out to selected users last month.
It’s a positive indication for Apple’s Live Photos feature that a major social network has embraced it, and could pave the way for further third-party integration. At present, Live Photos can only be shared through other Apple software, including iMessage, AirDrop and iCloud Photo Sharing.
For anyone who doesn’t own an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, Live Photos are animated images that capture movement and sound just before and after a photo is taken (precisely 1.5 seconds). Apple itself doesn’t refer to them as videos, and your iPhone will not save them as such. Live Photos make a good fit for an audio-visual platform such as Tumblr. At present the blogging platform is home to all forms of GIFs, memes, and videos.
Tumblr users can add Live Photos to their posts in the same way that they would any other photo — once posted they will carry a special icon when appearing in other users’ feeds. A Live Photo can be viewed (and heard) on an iPhone 6S by using 3D Touch (deep pressing the display), users of older iPhone models can also view the images by tapping and holding them. At present, Live Photos will only display as stills on Android devices and on the Web.
Tumblr was purchased by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013. Currently, the social blogging network contains over 267 million blogs and sees an average of 58.3 million user posts per day.