How to Post Live Pictures on Instagram in 2021

Going through Instagram the other day, I discovered something fascinating. One of my followers had her profile picture in motion and this looked very new to me.

I asked my brother if it was possible to use videos as profile pictures now but he laughed and told me more about live photos which is what I would love to share with you today.

This is 2021 and the world is advancing forward with lots of innovations and inventions which means we have to get used to seeing new things daily.

Social media is no exception to change and it can only get better with time. Live photos are those images that are in motion. They are not necessarily videos but they are not just static images either. I would like to call this advanced photo because it is one step from becoming a video itself.

What Are Live Pictures and How Does It Work?

How to Post Live Pictures on Instagram in 2021

How to Post Live Pictures on Instagram in 2021

As earlier explained above, live pictures bring movement to any picture you take and let you get much more out of it. It goes beyond a motionless picture.

A live photo can be described as a 12-megapixel image in a motion of 1.5 seconds. In layman’s terms, this means that sounds and movements are captured within 1.5 seconds before and after taking the picture. In summary, live pictures bring life to your photos.

It is important to note that not all devices have the right feature to snap live photos. So far, only iPhone 6 and above users can enjoy this benefit because of the features it possesses.

This is because the iPhone has an advanced characteristic that gives users the freedom to take live pictures. Here is how it works:

Step One: If you are using an iPhone 6 and above, then you can easily take a live picture by opening your camera.

Step Two: Once the camera screen comes on, you will see a dotted and circular icon that looks like a bulls-eye right in the middle. Tap on it.

Step Three: Now that you have done the above, take your pictures normally.

Step Four: Once you have snapped the picture, tap on the picture and hold. This will bring the picture to life.

However, you should be mindful of the movement and sounds in your surroundings which may affect the way the live picture comes out.

You should also ensure you treat the live picture as a video when taking shots, don’t shake your hands unnecessarily so it can get a good image and movement capture.

Another point to note is that the front and back cameras can get you live pictures and due to the complex nature of the iPhone you are using, the live pictures usually take a lot of space.

So if you are space deficient, you would want to take a live photo only when you want to use it immediately. Otherwise, if you have excess space, you could just keep the live photo settings on default.

Easy right? There is no extra magic to it as I earlier assumed. Once these steps are followed carefully, then you would be able to create your live pictures and post wherever you wish to.

Why Do People Use Live Photos?

You may be wondering why anyone would want to leave the conventional style of taking normal still-life photos and go for live photos.

For more engagements: When people see live photos, they are intrigued by what they see especially if the post is beautiful. This will make followers engage with that post and give more attention than they normally would to a normal picture.

For fun: People may choose to post live pictures just for fun. Trying to do something new is fun compared to sticking with the constant posting of still photos.

For business: As earlier explained in the first reason, businesses can use live photos to pass their message which could be more effective to target more potential clients.

It is quite better than just posting high-quality and artificial pictures that we are already used to. This will help the business establish better relationships with their customers and even capture new ones as well.

Now that we have understood why we find many users going for live photos which is actually a step closer to videos, we can also try it for ourselves on social media platforms as well. However, I would love to show you how you can post your live photos on Instagram.

How to Post Live Pictures on Instagram

Instagram recently made way for users to post live pictures on the platform and this probably turned out to be a great step forward for many Instagram users.

Now there is an opportunity for you to choose how you want your pictures to turn out. Instagram allows you to post images in two distinct ways. This means we would be looking at how to post live pictures on both your story and your feed.

Posting Live Pictures on Instagram Story

  • Step One: Pick up your phone and tap on the Instagram app icon.
  • Step Two: Ensure you log into your account so you can access your page.
  • Step Three: Click on the top left-hand corner to post a new story.
  • Step Four: Look for the live photo you have recently taken and hold on to it.
  • Step Five: Holding on to the chosen photo will automatically turn the picture into a boomerang.
  • Step Six: Once that is achieved, you can post your live picture.

This is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to post a live picture on Instagram. It is important to note that this method is very effective when the picture is taken before twenty-four hours of posting.

Sadly, this can only stay on your story timeline for just twenty-four hours. But if you want it to last longer on your wall, follow the process below on how to post on Instagram feeds.

Posting Live Pictures on Instagram Feeds

What if you want your live posts to stay longer than twenty-four hours? You would have to take a step further to post on your page. Here are some moves you can take to go around it.

  • Step One: Open your Instagram app on your phone.
  • Step Two: Create a new story by selecting the icon on the top left corner of your homepage.
  • Step Three: Locate the live picture you want to upload and select it.
  • Step Four: Once you have selected the picture, tap and hold it till the word “Boomerang” appears. Just like the above steps.
  • Step Five: Instead of sharing directly your story, you can save the live picture on your device by tapping the button on the bottom left of the screen.
  • Step Six: Go back to the Instagram homepage and locate the center icon on the bottom to make a new post.
  • Step Seven: Once the page is open, search for the recently saved live picture and feel free to post it.

I believe this process is very straightforward. However, you may get to wonder and ask yourself, “What is so special about Boomerang?”

Instagram, being one of the last social media platforms to allow the use of live pictures can only support a post that is above 3 seconds and live pictures are just 1.5 seconds.

This means that posting a 1.5 seconds image or video will appear as a still image thereby spoiling the beauty and essence of the live picture.

What boomerang does is to reduce the seconds to 1. With that, your image can be live on Instagram.

Can Gifs Be Posted as a Live Image on Instagram?

If you don’t wish to go through the above process, there is another way you can post live images and that is through the use of GIFs.

GIFs are almost similar to videos as well just like live images. This means you would need to convert the live picture to GIFs. How can you do this?

  • Step One: If you don’t have a GIF converting app on your phone, you would need to go to your App Store.
  • Step Two: Search for the GIF app and download it. I would recommend that you look at the reviews of the app you’re downloading and installing to make the right choice on what best to use. For the purpose of this post, I’ll be using a highly rated GIF app called Lively.
  • Step Three: Once the app is installed, open it on your phone.
  • Step Four: Locate your gallery and choose the live pictures you wish to convert to GIF.
  • Step Five: After you have done that, locate the export icon and tap on it so it can save on your device.
  • Step Six: Locate your Instagram app and open it.
  • Step Seven: On your homepage, locate the plus icon to add a post.
  • Step Eight: Post your new GIF images as a live picture.

There are other GIF apps you can use to post live photos like Motion Still and Alive. You can decide to choose any of those apps and create as many GIFs as you want.

In addition to this, unlike normal live photos that can be less effective after twenty-four hours, you could post GIFs much later than the date you created it. This can be very useful for throwback posts.


Now that we have understood how to create live images and post them on Instagram. You would need to get familiar with it so you can enjoy using it.

  • If you wish to view your live photos. You can go to your gallery and view as standard photos. What you can use to identify a live photo in your gallery is the bull’s-eye icon on top of the image. However, the icon won’t appear when you are posting it online. I believe it is for identification purposes.
  • After finding your live pictures in your gallery, you can view it by tapping and holding it down. This will make the image come alive instantly and it will begin to play.
  • Just as you can edit a normal still-life picture, you can also edit a live picture as well with extra options to choose from. Just like Snapchat, swiping up will give options on how you want to play your image. The provided options you can choose to play your image include Bounce (which is equivalent to Boomerang), Loop, or Long Exposure.
  • Another extra editing option for live pictures can be found on the top right corner of the photo. Click on the bull’s-eye icon on the bottom of the screen. After this is done, there will be options available on how you want your live photos to turn out. You can decide to mute the sound or audio of the image or even disable the features of the live photo. After you disable it, the image will still be a live photo file but it will not play or appear as a live picture in the gallery.
  • It is also possible to add stickers to your live picture just like normal pictures.

We have looked at what live pictures are, which devices can take live photos and how to create one. You have also understood how to post live photos on both your Instagram story and feed. You can also make use of GIFs to post live images as well.

This is a great chance to bring more life to your posts and also add more color. We all desire to improve our engagement level on social media platforms and I believe this is a great chance to do just that.

The benefits of live photos are quite numerous compared to the boring predictable still-life pictures. Brands are now making sure they increase the use of live pictures on Instagram to pass their message to their followers.

Why not make your posts in 2021 memorable by adding life to it? Follow the steps above and give it a try today. Thanks for reading.

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