There comes a time on the Internet when no response can quite say it like an animated GIF can. I mean, sure, you could type “WHAAAT?!?!?” but does that really capture the essence of befuddlement quite like this does:
No, it does not. And it NEVER WILL.
But Facebook users have been denied the special brand of satisfaction one enjoys when you get to summarize your mood with a looping animation. Facebook worried that allowing GIFs would make the site look too MySpace 1.0, too busy (yet they insist on that hideous news ticker in the corner, go figure). But Facebook has set aside its worries to work with Giphy and come up with a way for users to share their favorite GIFs.
So how do you do it? Unfortunately, if you just copy and paste a GIF from any place on the web, it still won’t work on Facebook. But if you search Giphy for a good GIF and then share it on Facebook through the website, your friends will be able to click on your update and see the animated loop within their NewsFeed.
To give you a walk-through, first go to the Giphy website and search for whatever you’re interested in posting. Then you can either just press the “Facebook” button that will post the GIF to your wall, or you can copy and paste the Giphy URL into your status box.
If you want to comment on someone’s post with a GIF, just copy and paste the URL into the comment box. The GIF comes up as a link, not an image, which is a bummer because you have to click on it to get it to start playing, but hey — it’s a step in the right direction. (Here’s at look at how we’ve already gone to town with the feature.)
Giphy co-founder Alex Chung is excited about this partnership. “When we launched Giphy, a few Facebook employees wrote us in support and longed for the day when GIFs would be supported natively on Facebook. One of their engineers spelled out for us exactly what we’d need to do to get all our GIFs to play on Facebook. Since then we’ve been in talks with Facebook directly and they support our method for GIFs on Facebook until they someday support GIFs natively again, which may never happen.”
And Chung thinks the addition of GIFs will give brands a new marketing tool. “Before brands were only able to use Tumblr as an avenue to post their GIFs. There never has been an easy way for brands to use GIFs on Facebook where they have more engagement and established audiences. Giphy will allow them to import all their Tumblr GIF content onto Facebook. We’re working with Gap to launch this and have a ton of other brands wanting to come quickly after,” he says. So the introduction of GIFs is good for Facebook’s ability to appeal to advertisers as well as a good way to keep users happy.
As for me, I long to live in a world where my profile picture can be this:
But for now, this new Giphy workaround for Facebook will have to suffice.