Cinemagraphs: Share Live Photos on Social Media


How to Upload Cinemagraphs


GIFs offer an infinite loop of a sequence but don’t really capture the essence of the scene. That’s where cinemagraphs come in – to capture a specific moment and relay it through thought proving motion. The same technique is used but cinemagraphs is unique in a way that it can present a more realistic and eye-catching quality image with just minor elements in motion.

Cinemagraphs had caught the attention of a lot of photographers but most important are its value in advertising. The term “cinemagraph” itself was coined by photographer Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck after using the technique for their fashion and news photographs. The main function of cinemagraphs is to capture the audience’s attention. It delivers too, increasing click-through rates (CTR) of display ads, and session lengths on both websites and apps. This effect can be further magnified with the use of social media. Cinemagraphs make posts more engaging compared to still photos.


Many brands overlook the use of cinemagraphs, though or a lot of them doesn’t know how to use one in their social media posts. If you have a problem with the latter, this article can help you. Here, you will learn in a few steps how to post a cinemagraph as a GIF or a video in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


How to Post Cinemagraphs on Facebook

  • Post as Video

As of June this year, videos no longer than 30 seconds would be automatically looped. For video posts, you can upload a facebook cinemagraph like any other video but there are things you should remember:

  1. It is preferable for Facebook cinemagraphs to be in MP4 or MOV format.
  2. The frame rate should be 30fps or lower.
  3. The maximum dimension is 1280px wide with an aspect ratio that is divisible by 16px.
  4. Quality is vital. The video should be high definition, short, and has a small file size. The length and size of the video directly affect its quality. Also, if you don’t follow the set guidelines, Facebook would adjust the video for you and let’s just say that quality isn’t their priority.

For Facebook video ads, follow this guide.


  • Post as GIF

Posting cinemagraphs in GIF format may seem counterproductive since you basically lose the quality that is the main selling point for cinemagraphs. But sometimes, the option for HD playback isn’t available for some users. Also, GIF is the best option if you want to post your cinemagraph in photo format. Here are some things to consider, though:

  1. GIF files cannot be directly uploaded to Facebook. It should be hosted by an external site or your own server. Gfycat, Giphy, Imgur, are just some of the sites where you can upload your cinemagraph.
  2. After your cinemagraph is rendered in GIF format, copy its URL and paste it into a Facebook post. Wait for the GIF preview to appear before deleting the URL and replacing it with a caption.
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How to Post Cinemagraphs on Instagram

Instagram videos automatically loop, the only downside is that you can only download via the Instagram mobile app. This can be easily remedied with various ways to transfer files from desktop to mobile devices. Just remember the guidelines for posting a video on Instagram:

  1. The preferred format is MP4.
  2. The frame rate should be 30fps or lower.
  3. Playback should not exceed 60 seconds.
  4. Maximum width is 1080px
  5. Unlike Facebook, the file size limit is only 15mb but you should limit the cinemagraph’s size below that to keep the video’s quality.

For ad views in Instagram, these are the guidelines.


How to Post Cinemagraphs on Twitter

Finally, you can upload cinemagraphs to Twitter. Cinemagraphs can also be shared to Twitter as videos via the Vine app. Twitter announced that it will discontinue Vine in the “coming months”. Still, there are two other ways you can share cinemagraphs on Twitter.

  • Post as Video

Videos on Twitter don’t loop automatically but the high quality is still retained. To upload, just click “Add Photos or Video”.

  1. The preferred file format is MP4.
  2. A maximum of 40fps frame rate is required.
  3. The maximum accepted aspect ratio is 1280px by 1024px
  4. Playback is limited to 140 seconds
  5. Filesize should not exceed 15 MB.


  • Post as GIF

The same procedure is followed when uploading a video. Just take note that the GIF file size limit for mobile upload is below 5mb. The upside though is that the cinemagraph will play and loop automatically.


How can i create my own to Cinemagraphs ?

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Mustapha Ajermou
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