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Facebook Confirms It Will Officially Support GIFs

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Facebook this afternoon confirmed that it will now support animated GIFs in the Facebook News Feed. Not everyone will see the added functionality immediately, we understand, as the update is still rolling out. The move represents a significant change in direction for Facebook, which has historically made a conscious decision to avoid supporting GIFs, claiming that doing so would make its News Feed “too chaotic.”

Facebook introduced support for auto-playing videos in late 2013, but despite bringing a more lively, animated feel to the News Feed, the move did not lead Facebook to rolling out support for GIFs. Neither did the introduction of support for GIFs on Twitter last summer — a change that some felt might force Facebook’s hand in the matter.

Facebook users can paste a link to a GIF hosted on an external website like Giphy, Imgur, Tumblr, or elsewhere, into their status update box and then publish. The GIF will be animated inline after you post. You can’t currently upload GIFs directly, however, and see the same results.

GIFs will auto-play on Facebook in line with your current video autoplay settings. If you choose to disable autoplay in your settings, you can tap or click a GIF (as indicated by “GIF” in a white circle on the image) to play it instead.

Today’s update means that users will be able to share GIFs they find anywhere on the web to Facebook, not only from a single source.

We also found that GIFs were automatically animated in the Facebook native mobile application, but not on the mobile website. It’s unclear at this time whether or not the latter issue is related to a delayed rollout, and have asked Facebook to confirm.

Official Statement From Facebook:

“We’re rolling out support for animated GIFs in News Feed. This is so you can share more fun, expressive things with your friends on Facebook.”


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