Live Photos are one of Apple’s whimsical yet popular inventions for iPhones. It basically captured a mini video clip whenever you take a photo. Of course, the feature only reveals its magic when shared with other iOS devices and nothing else. Twitter is putting an end to that isolation by letting iOS users upload their Live Photos to the network by transforming them into animated GIFs that can also be shared more widely.
It’s not all that uncommon for Apple to make a feature exclusive to its platforms. After all, it gives iPhones and iPads something enviable that Android phones try to copy. Not everyone, however, makes use of an Apple device, even those tech-savvy enough to be on Twitter. And Twitter, of course, wants to be the place where iPhone owners get to share their Live Photos.
The network doesn’t support the native Live Photos format, of course, which is something proprietary to Apple as far as how it works goes. Instead, Twitter will convert those Live Photos into GIFs when you try to upload them. At least if you tap on the small GIF button because it will upload a static JPEG otherwise.
Speaking of JPEGs, Twitter is notorious for processing images in a way that degrades their quality, something that has sent photographers and artists off to other social networks. Starting today, however, Twitter will preserve the encoding of JPEG images, ensuring their quality is also preserved.
There is one caveat to that new capability, however. Twitter will still transcode the image to generate a smaller and lower quality image that will be used as a thumbnail on Twitter feeds. Clicking on the that, however, will reveal the image in its full glory. Just another case of not judging an image by its thumbnail.