As the most popular social media platform on the Internet today, Facebook provides you with several opportunities to showcase what's going on with your life, keep people in the loop with what you're doing, and to simply have fun and express yourself.
Facebook first started off as a social platform for college students, limited mostly to simple text updates and the occasional photograph uploaded through a computer. Now, it is possible to do just about anything and post nearly everything from your phone. Whether you are a mobile user of Facebook or you're posting with the aid of a computer, one question you might have is how to post a GIF on Facebook. Thankfully, it's simple, straightforward, and doesn't take much time to select and post the perfect GIF, regardless of if it is for your personal profile or in response on someone else's post.
WHAT IS A GIF?
Before you answer the how to post a GIF on Facebook question, you must know more about what a GIF is and what it does. First, while a GIF post has become increasingly popular over the last few years on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it's not exactly new. In fact, the GIF format has been around since 1987, but has only recently begun seeing increased popularity.
This is open to some debate and, in many circles, it depends who you talk to. The general consensus, at least for the average user, is a GIF should be pronounced with a "g" sound (basically how it is spelled). This gives it a "gi-if" pronunciation. However, this is not the only known pronunciation for a GIF. In fact, the inventor of the file format pronounces it differently. Instead, it is pronounced as if spelled with a "j." So it would be called a "Ji-iff" (said in a similar way to how you might say the peanut butter brand).
Technically, the accurate pronunciation for the file format is using the "j" sound. However, in common usage, it is pronounced as it is spelled. So call it as you would. However you pronounce the word you'll still be able to post your favorite GIFs to Facebook, both on the timeline and in someone's comments.
SOME HISTORY ON THE GIF
Short for Graphics Interchange Format, the file is a bitmap image, created by CompuServe. The image format is an 8 bit per pixel image. This makes it possible to create a moving visual at a fraction of the file space required for a video. It is extremely limited in the overall color tone and appearance, allowing up to 256 colors per frame. As it is limited, this again helps with maintaining a smaller file size.
Original Web designers used the GIF file type to create moveable visuals online before it became possible to include video. Video, before the advent of high-speed Internet, proved difficult, if not impossible, to use on a website. Websites needed to upload the file, requiring those interested to view the file to download it on their own. At the time, a simple two minute video could take hours to download, bogging down Internet connections. To avoid this, most websites utilized basic images and GIFs to help implement moveable visual content on the site.
As Internet connections became faster and websites more powerful, the shift to embedded video took over. Videos embedded into a website have become commonplace and, while the files are still large, can be easily downloaded and shared.
GIF ON FACEBOOK
In recent years the GIF has become a popular tool to use on social media platforms. While videos are helpful, it still takes time to post and create videos, especially when in response to someone else's post. The need to play the video of each poster also takes time and drains bandwidth. If the videos are left on auto-play the noise makes it impossible to hear what's going on. However, with a GIF this is not an issue at all. The GIF, which is now usually taken from a small video clip by selecting a handful of frames from the longer 24-30 frame per second video. The GIF automatically loops and is a user friendly upload.
Social media platforms have become fond of these file formats because of the file size. It's easier to host and maintain a server when individuals are posting content in smaller GIF form than the larger videos. That is why Facebook, starting in 2015, now allows users to upload and share GIF files. It's also why you may want to know how to post a GIF on Facebook.
HOW TO POST A GIF ON FACEBOOK TIMELINE
Facebook has made it easy for how to post a GIF on Facebook. Once you know how to do it the process will seem straightforward and easy to do.
First, you'll want to sign onto your account. The process for how to post a GIF on Facebook for both mobile users and desktop users is essentially the same, so it doesn't matter where you log on. Now, click (or press) into the profile posting option. You'll be asked "What's on your mind, (your name.)" Look over the posting options underneath this. You should see a purple box labeled "GIF." If you do, select it. If you don't, click on the three dots underneath your blank post. This reveals a number of additional options to choose for your post. You should now see the GIF option.
When you have the GIF option selected a new menu will load. You will see the trending GIFs on the front page. If you want to use a popular GIF you should select one of these files. Of, you can type in a word or phrase into the search bar. This brings up all associated GIFs to your search. Scroll through the selection of GIFs until you find the option you're interested in.
Choose the GIF you want to post onto your timeline. It will now load into your "Make a Post" field. You can type in any additional text here you may want. Once you are satisfied with the post, choose "Share" and, within a moment, your post will go live.
HOW TO POST A GIF ON FACEBOOK COMMENTS
The next question you likely have is how to post a GIF on Facebook comments. This works in a similar way to how you posted a GIF to your timeline.
Find the post of a friend you want to comment on. Do note that there are some comments where you're not able to post a GIF. Typically, company posts and business posts will prevent the ability to post a GIF. However, with a friend's post you should have this option.
After finding the post you want to comment on click in the comment box. To the right of where you type there are a few options. You can upload a picture or video, add a sticker, or include a GIF (among other options.) If you do not see these options displayed, it is likely because the person has either turned off the ability to comment using GIFs or you're trying to comment on a business profile that does not allow it.
As long as you do see these options, choose GIF. When you choose the option, the same selection window will pop up. Type in the expression or keywords you want to use to find a GIF. Scroll through the options then, when you're satisfied, select it. The GIF appears in your post. You can now type additional text or you can choose to post it. When the post is up the owner of the account will be notified you have made a post. You are able to delete your own posts should you desire to, as this aspect works exactly the same as regular comments in Facebook.
POSTING A GIF INTO A MESSAGE
On Facebook you are also able to post a GIF in a direct instant message. When messaging someone you will click on the "choose a GIF" option below where you type the message. Then, you select the GIF you're interested in (this part is exactly the same as posting to the timeline and to a comment) and send the GIF. Once you do this, it becomes part of the IM.
Facebook continues to evolve, allowing users such as yourself the ability to post content and share information in varying ways. One of the more recent developments, at least in the history of Facebook, is to allow GIF posts. Until 2015 the company did not allow this. However, it's an easy file format that does not use much in the way of space.
You can easily sift through thousands of available GIFs and put the content up to either your timeline or in the comment section of someone else's post. The GIFs are user friendly and only takes a few clicks for you to take advantage of. So, if you're interested in how to post a GIF on Facebook, this is everything you need to know and, once you post one to Facebook, you shouldn't have any issues with future GIF posts.