Having avoided the animated image medium for long, Facebook has finally allowed users to post GIFs in comments. For a long time, Facebook had reasoned that enabling flashy GIFs would serve as an unwelcome distraction to the News Feed experience. Facebook had even reportedly built up support for them but prevented it from rolling it out. This comes right after Facebook also rolled out protections on profile pictures for users.
Facebook eventually did allow News Feed sharing with a GIF file but users still had to search for them on sites like Imgur and Tumblr. Facebook would then go on to allow Pages and ads to share GIFs. There was still no dedicated browser though, and users could not upload their own GIF images. Facebook’s staunch anti-GIF stance didn’t pay off as sites like Imgur’s explosive user increment became testament to what was the new trend in social media- text statuses making way for rich media. Even BuzzFeed’s GIF listicles garnered a lot of fanfare, drawing people away from Facebook in the process. Not to mention the rise of Snapchat because of adopting visual communication.
How to leave GIFs in comments
The newly added Facebook GIF button allows users to post a GIF in comments without leaving Facebook to search on other sites. To leave them in comments, users just have to click on the dedicated button. They will be able to “Search GIFs across all apps”. Users can search by name of apps or drop in any keyword and they will get an instant search result consisting of related images. Trending GIFs are also showcased.
This hardly comes as a surprise given how the format of social media interaction is evolving. Better late than never as they say!