GIFs are taking over the world; there’s no question about that. Apps like Vine and Instagram may have tested out micro-videos, limiting clips to a short few minutes, but it’s clear that the GIFs that pepper Imgur and Tumblr are the ones ruling the Internet. And as if that’s not enough, tech giants like Facebook and Apple are starting to take note, and want a piece of the pie.
Here are the latest apps and features that only serve to prove that GIFs are the future of moving images.
If Instagram’s trying to get into the GIF business, you know that GIFs should be taken seriously. Gone are the curated videos that Vine and even Instagram used to have — now it’s all about having those few seconds play back and forth indefinitely.
Their newest app is straightforward — almost too straightforward — in how it makes its GIFs. All you do is take a video of something for a limited number of seconds, and you’re instantly given a choice to post it on Instagram, Facebook, or any third-party app. No editing, no curating, just pure GIF goodness.
Facebook’s GIF button
It was already heaven on earth when Facebook allowed GIFs to be posted as comments, and then for them to be shared. What made Facebook even more GIF-friendly was the GIF search engine plugged straight into Messenger, making it one of the first chat functions to have GIF functionality.
Search terms can range from ice cream to stupid cats on skates. They tap directly into Giphy’s huge collection of GIFs, making the possibilities endless. Which brings us to our next point —
As if Giphy having a bottomless pit of GIFs and a partnership with Facebook isn’t awesome enough, it also recently introduced a GIF maker that allows you to make GIFs out of any video file or video link from YouTube, Vimeo, or Vine.
We tried it out with an old VulcanTV video of the team doing an ice bucket challenge:
But be wary: agreeing to the terms of using Giphy’s GIF-making app will allow the website to use, distribute, and even manipulate the GIFs that you create.
This one isn’t quite a GIF, but it may be the future of photo-taking. The newest iPhone 6S comes with a 3D Touch functionality, which they made use of in its new Live Photo feature. It essentially takes a few extra seconds of footage after your first photo is taken, and by using 3D touch, you’ll be able to play the GIF-like Live Photo. It’s like having a whole album full of GIFs of great and authentic moments.
The only problem is that these Live Photos only show as playable pictures on Apple devices — once transferred onto another device, it simply shows up as a regular picture. But a new app has been launched, which allows you to convert these Live Photos into actual GIFs that you can share with your friends.
Lively, which was just launched recently, is able to recognise Live Photos, and gives you the option to export them as GIFs or Movies. The free version only allows you to export 3 photos, though you can get unlimited conversions for US$1.99.
Making GIFs used be so complicated, but with these apps and features now making GIF-creating simple and accessible, you can be sure that we’ll be seeing much more of cats falling down and characters from the office freaking out in every corner of the Internet. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.