"Selfie" is now an official word, having entered the Oxford English Dictionary. Like them or loathe them, the self portraits have become part of modern culture. Now, social network Path is trying to take them a step ahead by launching an app that allows you to create animated selfies.

Path's new app, Kong, prompts users to turn their selfies into animated GIFs to share with their friends. The app is designed to build an entirely new sort of social interaction around sharing short, looping animations of your face.

Kong users simply push a button at the bottom of their mobile screen to start recording a short animated selfie, according to TechCrunch. They can then add text, emojis or filters to the GIF before sharing the looping video.

The animated selfie is automatically shared with other Kong members but can also be converted into a video or GIF and shared by SMS and email, as well as to other social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Kong is attempting to build a community through gamification. Users can invite friends to upload their own GIFs, but there are also public channels that anyone can join to try and create the most interesting video clip. These channels range from the wacky (#uglycry, #chubbybunny) to the mundane (#music, #coffee), and can also be created to cover specific places or topics of conversation (#sanfrancisco, #applekeynote).

Each user can only have one entry per channel, which stops people from spamming a channel with multiple videos.

Path sees huge potential in the new app and is hoping that suggested channels could lead to millions of users trying to make their own versions of a particular meme. Path founder Dave Morin said that to monetize the app, he will ultimately look to partner with brands that could create channels related to their products.

Kong is available to download for free on Android and iOS, with an Apple Watch version available as well.

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