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How to Share Animated Photos on the iPhone



Instagram is great for sharing photos, but there’s one problem with it: the photos don’t move. Static images can say a lot, but animated photos (gifs) are usually a lot more fun.

We discovered three apps that let users share moving photos take on the iPhone, each with distinct features. Yes, there are filters available for Instagram addicts.

All three apps are available exclusively on the iPhone and aren’t owned by Facebook.

These apps might not be as artsy or simple as Instagram, but they are offer a new set of photo apps for iPhone users to brag about to their Android-wielding friends.


Cinemagram is arguably the most popular of the three apps. The app offers a chance to create a photo in which only part of the image moves. The app first takes video, then asks the user to trim the video to a proper length. Then the user chooses the area of the gif they want to animate by “painting” it. Users can then add Instagram-like filters to the photos and share them in the app or through Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

Cinemagram also offers the ability to create a gif of a video that was already taken, so users can shoot their own video and use the app to create the gif later.


Sadly this gif couldn’t be embedded in this story due to its size. Click to see the animated version.

Gifture is the newest of the three apps. Instead of photos Gifture defaults to making the user take individual photos, though there is an auto mode which takes 10 frames quickly. Unlike Cinemagram, Gifture uses full frames so the entire image will move instead of just one section.

Gifture does offer the ability to import previously-taken photos, but cannot convert video to gifs like the other two apps.

Gifture also supports just individual photos just like Instagram. Both still images and gifs are constraints to a size of 500×500 in the app. The gifs are larger when saved a computer, however. The image above shows a 717×718 when saved from the website. The app can put filters on both gifs and still images, though the are no borders. The filter choice is lacking, but at least a few aren’t direct copies of Instagram filters.


The last app, Gifboom is possibly our favorite of the three apps. Like Gifture, Gifboom uses frames and animates the full image. Unlike Gifture, Gifboom doesn’t limit images and gifs to a single size. The gifs still need to fit on the iPhone screen, but users can create square, widescreen, or tall images.

Gifboom also lets users import video from their iPhone which is then converted into frames to create the gif. Once the user chooses the frames they can apply filters and borders separately and even add text on top of the gif.



  1. Nick

    05/01/2012 at 11:07 am

    Check out Gif Text, different spin on the subject matter.

  2. Anna

    07/20/2012 at 6:54 pm

    hi! how do i import cinemagrams to gifboom? please please answer me!

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