Facebook is finally allowing everyone to use GIFs in comments. The social network has been hesitant to support GIFs in comments, but with the popularity of GIFs showing no sign of abating, the social network has finally decided to cede to the demands of its billions of users. Hoorah!
The GIF is 30 years old! And the debate over how it’s pronounced — either with a hard G (as in “great”) or a soft G (as in “gyrate”) — feels like it’s been going on just as long. Facebook is celebrating this milestone in a number of ways, including adding GIFs to comments.
Facebook Gets a Dedicated GIF Button
Facebook has kinda supported GIFs for a while now. Essentially, if you posted an URL of a GIF sourced elsewhere it would display correctly. However, Facebook has been testing a dedicated GIF button on the main site/app for several months, and it’s now ready for a wider rollout.
From now on, when preparing to leave a comment on Facebook you should see a small GIF icon sitting next the emoji icon. Clicking it will open a small box full of trending GIFs and the option to search for one of your own choosing. These GIFs will be sourced from Giphy and Tenor.
In addition to this, Facebook has explored just how popular GIFs are on Messenger (sending 25,000 every minute over the course of 2016) and thrown a GIF party by creating original GIFs starring internet celebrities (you’ve probably never heard of) such as Violet Benson and Wuz Good.
Facebook is also attempting to find the definitive answer to the aforementioned question regarding how GIF is pronounced. To this end, users in the U.S. (because the rest of the world clearly doesn’t matter) will be polled on the subject. Even though the answer is clearly “GIF”.
A Potential Mess of MySpace Proportions
This is a risky move by Facebook. Sure, GIFs are everywhere on the web, having become a silly, shorthand way of expressing a feeling or thought. However, they only work when used in moderation. So, if Facebook users start spamming their friends with GIFs expect Facebook to become a mess of MySpace proportions. What’s next on the cards? Comic sans?
Do you use GIFs during online conversations? If so, where do you source your GIFs from? Do you hate GIFs and refuse to resort to using them? What do you think of Facebook adding support for GIFs? Will this ruin your timeline? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Owen W Brown via Flickr