Facebook has finally rolled out the GIF button for comments, allowing users to reply to posts with the animated GIFs that have carved out their place in the online world.
The addition of the feature comes as part of the social network's commemoration of the 30th anniversary of GIFs.
Facebook Rolls Out GIF Button
The social network announced the launch of the GIF button through a Facebook Newsroom post, alongside its history lesson on GIFs on Messenger.
GIFs were introduced in Messenger in 2015, and according to Facebook, the number of GIFs sent on the communication app tripled over the previous year. Users sent almost 13 billion GIFs in 2016 alone, which was equivalent to almost 25,000 GIFs per minute, with New Year's Day 2017 being the most popular day for sending GIFs on the app with more than 400 million sent.
The overwhelming popularity of GIFs on Messenger pushed Facebook to roll out the GIF button on the social network, allowing all users from all over the world to posts GIFs as their comment on posts.
Using the GIF button is easy. Whenever a user taps on the comment section of a post to reply, the button will appear right beside the emoji button. Tapping on the GIF button will bring up a search bar, through which users can search for the most appropriate GIF to use for their reply.
The GIFs that appear in the search function comes from Facebook's GIF partners, which include Giphy, Tenor, and Disney. These are the same partners that provide the GIFs for Messenger, so users who have found their favorite ones in the communication app can use the same ones in their post replies on the social network.
Limitations To GIF Button
Facebook's GIF button, however, comes with a few limitations, the first of which is the inability to post your own GIFs. While users can link to GIFs through a URL on their posts, they are still not able to do so when replying to another user's post.
The GIF library offered by Facebook is expansive, which makes it very likely that users will find a GIF that they find suitable to use for their post reply. However, the size of the library also makes it much more difficult to look for a particular GIF if the search term is a common one.
For now, the GIF button is not available for uploading News Feed posts. However, given the popularity of the animated images, Facebook will likely also make the feature available to all users soon.
Facebook Celebrates GIF's 30th Birthday
As part of Facebook's celebration for the 30th year of GIFs, the company also teamed up with Giphy to create 20 unique GIFs starring 20 internet celebrities. The personalities featured in the GIFs include Logan Paul, Violet Benson, Amanda Cerny, and Landon Moss. Users interested in trying out the GIF button with these special GIFs can do so by searching for #GIFparty.
Facebook will also relaunch the ages-old debate on whether GIF is pronounced with a hard G or a soft G through a poll that will appear in the social network over the next few days. Hopefully, the survey settles the highly important matter once and for all.