Expressing emotions takes time and can be difficult. Luckily, for every expression, there’s a GIF.
Letting your mate know how excited you are for tonight’s party? Look for a GIF. Letting your mate know how dashing you feel in your new clothes? GIF. Letting your mate know that they’re not alone? GIF.
Because sometimes, sharing somebody else’s reaction speaks more than words.
To give you an idea of just how big it is, GIF database GIPHY claims to have over 500 million daily active users while Tenor now owned by Google claims to process over 400 million GIF searches per day.
Today, such free databases are integrated across social media platforms, making GIFs quick to find via keywords and shared across apps like Facebook, Instagram, Discord and Whatsapp. Heck, paste one into your work email too if you’re that kind of place.
This is because today’s younger generations are visual-centric and love a good laugh on the Internet. GIFs have been around since the late 80s, with a simple, decades-old format that has stood the test of time, so it’s second nature to millennials and Gen Zs alongside emojis.
The 101 on GIFs
The clips are typically face reactions taken from pop culture, whether it’s movies, TV shows, or what’s hot in the news like Greta Thunberg slamming higher powers at a press conference. But it can also just be your own content or basic stock images like an animated birthday card from Mum.
Have a crack at creating one. You could use Photoshop but there are plenty of user-friendly GIF-making websites like GIPHY, Tenor and Imgur that often use snippets from a YouTube video link. Find a feeling or a reaction, add text if you like, voila.
Instead of making you read these 300 words, we should have just gotten our point across in a GIF.