Twitter’s testing of a dedicated GIF button first came to light earlier this month, and on Wednesday it announced it as an official feature.
The search button, unveiled by the company in a blog post, will make it easier for Twitter users to jazz up their tweets and direct messages with the entertaining image loops.
With users on the microblogging site sharing more than 100 million GIFs in 2015, and other apps like Facebook Messenger, Tumblr, and Tinder already including native GIF search tools, it’s about time Twitter joined the party.
“Whenever you’re composing a tweet or direct message, you can search and browse the GIF library,” Twitter’s Sasank Reddy wrote in the post. “So if you’re looking for the perfect cat yawn or dance move to express exactly how you feel, just click the new GIF button. You can search by keyword, or browse categories of different reactions like Happy Dance, Mic Drop, or YOLO.”
— Twitter (@twitter) February 17, 2016
GIF search is rolling out over the coming weeks to all users globally across iOS, Android, and twitter.com.
The new feature is powered by GIF database outfits Giphy and Riffsy. Giphy CEO Alex Chung said users are creating GIFs “for news, entertainment, sports, and expression that can enrich tweets,” while Riffsy chief David McIntosh commented, “So much can be expressed with GIFs, and the key is to find just the right one in the moment that quickly and efficiently expresses your emotions.”
Twitter’s been having a tough time of it of late – the social media company is struggling to build its user base, while users recently lambasted it ahead of changes to the timeline. Recent worker layoffs have also hit the San Francisco-based firm.
While the new GIF search button is hardly going to send its user numbers – or its share price for that matter – through the roof, the feature is likely to be welcomed by most users, and brings it in line with other popular mobile apps that have included such a feature for a while now.