Is this real life?
Don’t touch that mouse. Don’t adjust your news feed — GIFs now animate on Facebook. Thanks to Giphy, GIFs can now play right on Facebook timeline rather than necessitating a link that opens a new webpage. For those unfamiliar with these, GIFs (Graphics Integrated Format) are animated, looped images, or the real-life equivalent of the magical photographs and paintings in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
Despite this groundbreaking development, there’s a catch — only Giphy GIFs (so far) have this ability. This is because the site has figured out a way to post GIFs not as images but as videos — the GIFs are then embed in the same fashion as people share videos on their timelines. As a result, users must first click on the GIF “video” before the image animates. Giphy co-founder and CTO Alex Chung clarified in an official statement to Mashable that “Facebook does not support the GIF file format” and there are “no current plans to support them natively.”
But no matter! I’ll take whatever methods available to share GIF reactions, so I’m a happy camper. Just brace yourself for the deluge of dizzying-to-some-but-mesmerizing-to-all animated images.
All of the above GIFs can be found on Giphy except for the Lily and James Potter GIF, which can be found on de facto GIF search engine site — and home to Giphy’s own blog — Tumblr.