Officially, the acronym “GIF” stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is a way to store short animations as a series of photos in a single file. Unofficially, a GIF is a way to share your funny, snarky, or sarcastic side with your friends by using clever animations that capture moments and moods like no other. Did you know that you can share your favorite GIFs on Instagram posts and Stories — and send them as DMs? Here’s how to post a GIF on Instagram to make it way more fun.
Can you post GIFs on Instagram?
Although the process isn’t totally seamless, you can absolutely share your favorite GIFs on Instagram with just a few extra steps. This can be accomplished by using GIPHY, which is currently the largest collection of GIFs in the world, or by saving your GIF as a video before uploading it.
How to upload a GIF to your Instagram feed
Let’s take a look at your options for adding a GIF to Instagram. Both require an extra step or two, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze!
How to post a GIF on Instagram using GIPHY
GIPHY is a treasure trove of fun GIFs, so if you don’t already have the GIPHY app installed on your iPhone, take care of that ASAP. Once you’ve got GIPHY downloaded, here are the steps you need to take to post a GIF to Instagram.
- Open the GIPHY app on your iPhone.
- Browse or search for the perfect GIF on GIPHY.
- Tap the paper-airplane icon located under the GIF.
- Tap the Instagram button. A screen will appear asking for permission to open Instagram.
- Once you’ve given permission, your GIF will open inside Instagram. Choose Feed to post a 15-second looped GIF to your Instagram feed as a new post.
- Tap Next to add edits and/or filters to your Instagram post.
- Tap Next again to add your caption and hashtags.
- When you’ve finished creating your GIF post, tap Share.
Upload your own GIF as a video
Technically, Instagram doesn’t support GIF files, but you can turn your GIF into a video to easily share it on Instagram. Once you download your GIF onto your phone, you will need a GIF-to-video converter app like GIF Cracker. Then simply follow these instructions:
- Open GIF Cracker on your iPhone and allow access to your photos.
- GIF Cracker will automatically show you all of the GIFs that are stored in your photo library. Choose the one you want to share.
- A screen will appear with video options, including playback speed, loop count, and number of frames. Adjust these to fit your needs.
- When you are happy with the results, tap Start Conversion.
- Tap Save.
- You will now be able to share your GIF as a video on Instagram.
There are also other GIF-maker apps that let you make GIFs out of photos or videos, so be sure to check those out.
How to add a GIF to your Instagram Story
We’ve covered how to add GIFs to Instagram posts, but what if you want to add a GIF to your Instagram Story? It’s easy to do, and there are several ways to make it happen.
Post a GIF to Instagram directly from GIPHY
You can post to your Instagram Stories directly from GIPHY in much the same way you create Instagram posts. Here’s how:
- Open the GIPHY app on your iPhone.
- Find an awesome GIF to share to your Instagram Stories.
- Tap on the paper airplane icon located under the GIF.
- Tap the Instagram button and give GIPHY permission to access your Instagram. Once you have given permission, your GIF will open inside Instagram.
- Choose Story to post a 15-second looped GIF to your Instagram Story.
- Your GIF will appear in your Stories, where you can add additional features like text, drawings, and stickers.
- Tap Your Stories to save your GIF to your Stories.
Make a GIF and put it on your Story with Boomerang
Another option is to use Instagram’s Boomerang feature to create a GIF-like animation to share to your Stories. Here’s how:
- Open the Stories feature in Instagram by tapping on the camera icon in the upper right.
- Tap the Boomerang icon on the left side of the screen — it looks like a horizontal figure eight.
- Position your camera to begin filming your Boomerang. This works best with a bit of action, so try to capture something happening (water splashing, bees buzzing, or your dog jumping).
- Tap the Boomerang shutter button to capture your footage.
- Your Boomerang GIF will consist of 10 photos stitched together, sped up, and looped back and forth.
- Tap Your Stories to share.
Add a GIF to your Instagram Story using a sticker
You can also add a little bling to your photo and video Stories by adding a GIF sticker, which provides all kinds of animated GIF stickers from GIPHY. This is probably the easiest and most addictive way to add GIFs to your Instagram Stories:
- Open your Instagram Stories and add a photo or video.
- Tap the sticker icon, followed by the search bar.
- A screen will pop up with GIFs that are trending on GIPHY.
- Choose a GIF from the options provided or search for a GIF in the search bar.
- Tap the GIF you want to use, and it will appear on top of your photo or video.
- Pinch your fingers to make your GIF larger or smaller.
- Tap Your Stories to share to your Instagram Stories.
How to send a GIF on Instagram DM
You’re almost an expert at posting GIFs on Instagram. The last thing we’re going to cover is how to share a GIF as a DM on Instagram because, let’s face it, some GIFs are only meant for your favorite people. Share your favorite GIFs with just a few taps of the screen:
- Open Instagram and tap the message icon in the top-right corner.
- Choose the account you want to send a DM to.
- Type your message and then tap the + icon.
- Tap the sticker icon.
- The GIFs trending on GIPHY will appear on the screen. If you don’t see something you like, search for your GIF in the search bar.
- Tap the GIF you want to share with your friend.
GIFs are a fun way to relate and connect with people, and we’re grateful that they’re so easy to share on Instagram. Now that you know how to do it, your only problem will be finding the perfect GIF to post or send.