As you can see, the GIFs available – via a new partnership with GIPHY – are custom-made for purpose, with transparent backgrounds, enabling you to add them to any part of your image.
As explained by Instagram:
“When you tap to add a sticker to a photo or video in stories, you’ll now see a new GIF option. Tap it to open a library full of hundreds of thousands of moving stickers powered by GIPHY. You can browse what’s currently trending on GIPHY or search their extensive collection to find a sticker for just about anything. From bouncing letters and twirling hearts to dancing cats and pizza in space, these animated stickers help you make any photo or video funny, interesting or creative.”
It’s an interesting, visually-striking addition, and will no doubt further boost Instagram Stories as an alternative to Snapchat, which doesn’t have anything similar (as yet). You can bet that there’ll be a heap of users who want to try out the latest tool – and by working with GIPHY, Instagram can ensure they stay on top of the latest GIF trends, constantly updating their highlighted options to keep users engaged.
In addition to GIFs, Instagram’s also rolling out the ability to upload photos and videos of any size to your Story.
A much-requested feature, the option will enable users to share their images or videos in their original dimensions - square, portrait or landscape - with any extra room filled with a custom color gradient that matches what you’ve shared.
Here’s an example of how it looks in practice from Twitter user Niks Evalds.
Have had this functionality for a while now – looks good pic.twitter.com/GYUhGOhgKX— Niks Evalds (@NiksEvalds) January 23, 2018
The new sharing options will make it easier for users to utilize a wider variety of Stories content, providing additional creative and presentation options.
GIF stickers are available from today as part of Instagram version 29 on iOS and Android, while the new Stories uploads will be available ‘within the coming weeks’.