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Facebook Now Supports GIFs on Desktop and Mobile

They say all good things must come to an end, but in this case, the fun has just begun.

According to multiple reports—including Mashable—Facebook now supports GIFs in its posts, both on desktop and on mobile devices.

Anderson Cooper GIF

GIF via Giphy

This is a huge announcement and change for the social network juggernaut, as GIF lovers can again begin to share their beloved cat GIFs with friends and family worldwide. I say again because there was once a time when Facebook supported GIFs—way back when the platform was only available to college students—but that feature was removed, probably due to the fact that it affected the user experience on the early version of the platform. Roughly a decade later, Facebook's servers are able to handle a lot more volume and bandwidth, much to the delight of its users. 

These days, GIFs are an enormous part of the social world, with numerous sites like Giphy, GifBin, and Imgur supplying users with hundreds of thousands of GIFs at the click of a mouse. Other social networks, including Twitter, had beaten Facebook to the GIF race, so it was essentially a must for Mark Zuckerberg and team to roll this out and give users what they've been asking for.

In the midst of all the excitement though, I may have overlooked the fact that some of you may not know what a GIF is.

What is a GIF?

Without getting too technical, a GIF is an image file format that supports the use of both static and animated images—a moving photo or extremely short video, if you will.

How do you pronounce that, you ask? I unfortunately can’t give you a straight answer, but I can tell you that I’ve heard it pronounced as both “Gif” and “Jif.” I'm sure if you just refer to it as a "moving image" that'd be just fine too.

Ace Ventura GIF

GIF via Giphy

Maybe now you’re familiar?

How to Use GIFs on Facebook

The most important thing to note is that GIFs on Facebook have to be used as links and not uploads. What that means is that you can’t download a GIF to your computer and try to upload it like you would a selfie of you and your bae.

Instead, you need to copy the link from the GIF that you want to post and paste it into the status update field for it to properly pull through. Once you do that, you should see a preview of the GIF within your status update box prior to posting (you may need to click the GIF once the image pulls through for it to play during your preview). 

The next stipulation is that the GIF link must end in ".gif." Because there are multiple ways to upload and embed GIFS—with HTML5 and Flash being a couple of them—most GIF sites will give you a few different URL options. Again, make sure you grab the GIF link that ends in .gif to make sure it correctly plays on Facebook.

The last restriction of using GIFs on Facebook is that they’re not available on Company Pages just yet, so hold off on sharing them with your fans and followers until you hear otherwise.

Why You Should Use GIFs

GIFs can be used in a number of situations. They can be used to creatively show your reaction to something or to evoke emotion, or you can simply utilize them to prove that you’re up on the latest internet trends.

No matter how you’re using them, this is a big step for both Facebook and social media users who have been pining to express themselves with GIFs on their favorite social network.

Chicken GIF

GIF via Giphy

Now, everybody get out there and get your GIF on!

Thumbnail image via Shutterstock

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