Facebook has come under fire before for testing various formats and features for its user base, but if we were to bet, this latest test won’t be nearly as controversial. It would appear that the social network is testing a new gif mode in the iOS version of the Facebook app. If you’re an iPhone user, when you swipe left to get to the Facebook camera, you’ll see a new option to record your very own gif.
In some ways, it’s a surprising move for Facebook, who was one of the later adopters of the popular moving image format. While gifs have been around for quite some time, it wasn’t until the spring of 2015 that Facebook finally decided to support gifs in its News Feed. Previously, it castigated gifs as being “too chaotic.”
But clearly, the social media giant has had a change of heart. After all, in the last few weeks, Facebook has begun allowing users to leave gifs in comments. And now, you can create your own gifs to share with your Facebook family. As it stands, the gifs you’re able to create are rather short, lasting just a few seconds. But you can naturally use all of the effects and frames already available in the Facebook camera (like a Prisma-style effect).
Once you’re done recording, you can add the gif to your Facebook story, post it to your page, or save it locally to your iPhone. To be fair, if you’re saving the moving image to your iPhone, they’ll be saved as videos, and you can’t send the gifs directly to other services. That means that your recordings will basically have to live exclusively in the social network. Guess we can’t have it all…not yet, at least.
For the time being, only certain iPhone users appear to be able to access the GIF function, and Android seems to be completely left in the dark for now. But don’t fret, friends. If this feature proves to be popular (which seems likely to be the case), it’s probably only a matter of time before we’re all recording gifs on Facebook.