Remember when Facebook made a very determined announcement saying it won’t support GIFs – animated images – on its platform? Well, that’s about to change, as it goes according to a completely different announcement made on Monday.
Everyone’s News Feed will soon be swamped with GIFs, but not all at once, as the feature is still rolling out on various servers. The company went from thinking that GIF support will make surfing the News Feed feel “too chaotic” to embracing it in end, and some would say peer-pressure might have something to do with it.
Back in 2013, Facebook established it will focus on the video feature, as it introduced support for auto-playing videos. Social media analysts believed the number one social platform was warming up to rolling out support for GIFs, but despite the lively, animated feel videos brought to the News Feed, the next step never happened.
Other platforms, however, were quicker to introduce the feature, such as Twitter last summer – a move that many believed it would force Facebook to change its mind on the matter.
Even though built-in support for GIFs has been developed for a while now, the company was reluctant to roll it out, fearing it might turn the users’ News Feeds in a cluttered mess of low-quality memes.
If you want to try the beta feature, you can copy-paste into your status box a link to a GIF from an external website (Giphy, Tumblr and Imgur are full of these little animated pictures), and then hit publish. The GIF will automatically animate after you post.
GIFs can’t be uploaded directly just yet, so wait a while before you do that and expect to see the same results. For now, use the link shortcut and you’ll see that GIFs borrow your current video autoplay settings.
If you have chosen to disable the autoplay of videos from Account Settings, no worries – you have the option of tapping or clicking on the GIF and it will play. You might have noticed that before today, there was a workaround for posting GIFs on Facebook offered by Giphy, but today’s release is the first official Facebook support.
The feature does not work on brand pages or in Facebook ads, as confirmed by the company. However, a spokesperson stated they are exploring the possibility of enabling it in the future. So far, GIFs don’t automatically animate on the mobile version of the website, but Facebook’s native mobile application is already set up to post your GIFs.
Image Source: Meme Generator