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Last year, Tumblr announced it would support Live Photos on its mobile apps. Fast-forward 10 months and the company is bringing that feature to the web. Now when someone has posted a Live Photo to any Tumblr site or property, you can tap or click and hold to watch it animate. And Tumblr wants others to add support for this media as well, which is why it has open-sourced the JavaScript library for developers to use.

Live Photos were first introduced with the launch of the iPhone 6s, but the technology wasn’t limited to the Apple smartphone. Samsung, Google, and other companies jumped on the bandwagon. The concept behind it was capturing a series of images 1.5 seconds before and after the photo you actually want to take. Apple has said that this feature helps provide “context.”

Think of it as an animated GIF.

For a while, Live Photos were really limited to the mobile device, but now it’s becoming available on the web so more people actually use it — when was the last time you consciously created a Live Photo beyond having the settings enabled by default? It’s perhaps fitting that Tumblr has added support for it, though, because the platform is filled with animated GIFs and other interactive media.

But why not make Live Photos more accessible to everyone? That’s what the Yahoo-owned property has done by sharing its JavaScript library on GitHub and npm. Tumblr hopes that helping developers add support for this format will make it easier for internet users to share Live Photos they found from Tumblr everywhere.

The company said that it’s working on supporting Live Photos in Android.


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