Regardless of how you pronounce it (It’s with a “G” not a “J,” by the way.), GIFs are hilarious. For those wondering what a GIF is, it is a short animated image that loops endlessly. GIFs seem to hit the sweet spot of Internet meme culture, running the gamut between laugh-out-loud funny and just plain insane.
GIFs, by definition, are meant to be shared with others. Luckily, sharing them via Facebook and other social media outlets like Twitter and Tumblr is easy. Instagram, however, is not so easy. This is because Instagram likes to tout itself as a purist photo app. Due to this, Instagram doesn’t currently support the animated GIF image format.
As Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way,” and fortunately there are workarounds to post GIFs on Instagram. While there currently isn’t’ a way to post a GIF directly to Instagram, it does support video files. In order to post a GIF, you simply have to convert it into a video file first. Granted, this does involve a little bit of elbow grease, but when the “Likes” start rolling in, your hard work will all be worth it.
GIPHY is a popular website that hosts GIFs. It easily allows you to share GIFs found on the site to various social media outlets, including Instagram. When you find one you want to share, click on the Instagram icon under the “Share” heading beneath the GIF. An email form (delivered to your screen via a GIPHY-branded NES Power Glove) will prompt you to enter your email address. Pop in your email address and hit the “Send” button. GIPHY will then send you a looped fifteen-second video file in MP4 format straight to your inbox.
Since you can only post to Instagram using the mobile app, open the email on your phone and download the MP4 video file. Finally, fire up Instagram, tap the camera icon and select the video. Note that you may have to move the MP4 file from your “Downloads” folder to your camera roll in order for Instagram to see it. Hit the “Share” button to successfully post the GIF to Instagram in the form of a fifteen-second video.
Photoshop is an incredibly powerful image manipulation tool. If you have access to Photoshop, you can use it to quickly convert a GIF to a video file. The best part about it is that it is super easy, requiring zero knowledge of Photoshop.
To convert a GIF to a video file, open the GIF inside of Photoshop. Then click “File -> Export -> Render Video.” A menu will pop up that looks similar to the picture above that allows you to tweak the settings of the video. If you want to play around, feel free, but the default settings will be fine. Hit the “Render” button, and Photoshop will convert the GIF into an MP4 video. Finally, send the video to yourself via email. Open the email with your phone and post to Instagram.
Are you aware of any other ways to post GIFs to Instagram? Are you an iPhone user who can recommend an app? Let us know in the comments!