We've seen GIFs shared everywhere, from websites to social media. They give us new ways to interact and respond, and face it, seeing cats shoot lasers out of their eyes just makes our days brighter!
A brief history of the GIF
You’ve most probably come across many GIFs online, from web pages to advertising, online forums, avatars and also social media. This wondrous animated phenomenon was ‘born’ in 1987, has sparked debates about how to correctly pronounce its name and generally brings Internet fun right to our devices, because it works on anything. Except LinkedIn, who has no sense of humour whatsoever.
Initially, GIFs were used instead of videos due to dial-up speed internet. They are small, compact and don’t take up a ton of bandwidth. Over the years, they’ve evolved to be used online for all kinds of responses, humour and entertainment. The humble GIF has come a long way, and we really don’t mind!
FUN FACT: Facebook only started supporting GIFs in 2015!
Why do we use GIFs?
GIFs share snapshots of moments with us. If we want to read long articles, or watch videos, we’ll do exactly that. But in our average 140-character minds, a GIF is perfect for commenting on something or to keep us up to date with what’s happening.
GIFs can be that perfect reaction if an emoticon isn’t enough. When a smiley face just won’t do, and you need to let your people know exactly how you feel…
All these GIFs need designers, right? Creatives that can spend hours make these moving works of digital art… well, for some, yes. But if you have some images or videos, and the software or platform, you can easily make your own GIFs.
So whether you say JIFF, GEEF or GIF, here are some great resources:
This is the biggest resource for finding GIFs that are ready-made. You can also upload your creations on Giphy to share on social media. Giphy has plugins for the most popular browsers, to make finding that perfect GIF easy.
Find it here: https://giphy.com/
- Create a GIF with Photoshop
If you have Photoshop installed, the masters at HubSpot have this great tutorial on how to create your own GIFs in a few easy steps. We’ve tried it, and it works!
- Create a GIF with GIMP
GIMP is free image editing software, and you can use it to create your own GIFs — the tutorial looks pretty straightforward. A good alternative if you don’t want to use online options, and don’t have access to Adobe software.
Find it here: https://www.gimp.org/
There are also some online tools available to create your own GIFs to share:
- Giphy’s GIF Maker
Giphy has its own GIF maker. Drag and drop elements, or add URLs and make your own GIFs. No need to create an account, but the option exists if you’d like to keep your GIFs together.
Find it here: https://giphy.com/create/gifmaker
A basic online GIF maker. Upload your images and create GIFs to share online. No account needed.
Bonus: also resize or crop images on here.
Find it here: http://gifmaker.me/
ezGIF is an online GIF maker and image editor. You can upload your files and create GIFs to share that are free of any watermarks. You can also convert videos to GIFs and optimise GIFs. No account necessary.
Bonus: yup, another one where you can resize your images. Yay.
Find it here: https://ezgif.com/maker
- Make a GIF
Create an account and make a GIF from almost anything: YouTube links, images, videos and more. You can also browse GIFs.
Find it here: https://makeagif.com/
So go on, create your own awesome GIFs. Share your work with us, we’d love to see what you get up to!