Looping GIFs are being adopted in more and more places. The Mail Online has even started using the looping images on its homepage – making the online newspaper look a bit like the Daily Prophet.
You can even use GIF profile pics on the dating app Tinder to increase your chance of success.
The moving image format means that you can convey emotions and meaning easily.
For example, if the Manchester weather is getting you down, you could post something like this:
GIFs can also be used for more practical communications. If you were using social media for recruitment, you could post something like this:
If you have already invested in video, a GIF is just another way to get extra value from it. In some ways, GIFs work better than videos because the file sizes are smaller and the file plays without being clicked on.
You can publish looping GIFs in all sorts of places, including:
- Blog posts
Converting video to GIFs
You can make GIFs from scratch by stitching together individual pictures or animated frames. But this can only really be used to create very simply animations.
The easiest way to make your own GIFs is to convert a video file to a GIF.
You can do this using Adobe Photoshop’s Timeline feature. This gives you a lot of control of the process, but it is complicated, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
The easiest way to convert a video to a GIF is to use an online convertor. We tested out a couple of free GIF makers for this blog post.
Giphy’s GIF maker was by far the easiest way to create GIFs and perform simple edits like adding captions. If you want to throw something online quickly, then this is the tool for you.
When you make a GIF with Giphy, it is uploaded to a shared library. From here, it’s easy to share your GIF (and anyone elses) on social media and in blog posts.
In this blog post, we embedded the Mickey Mouse and Join Us GIFs from Giphy.
Ezgif is another free converter. It’s a little harder to use than Giphy, but you have more control over the final product.
You can re-size and optimise GIFs to cut the file size down to a usable size. When you’ve created the GIF, you can download it to your computer and use it as you wish.
We made the Daily Mail GIF at the top of the page using this tool.
How to make sure your GIFs work
So, you know how to convert a video to a GIF, but this is just half of it. Now you need to make sure that your GIFs have their desired effect – catching attention.
Pick good sections of video
GIFs can grab attention. But you need to make sure that they’re eye-catching.
If you have a long video that you want to GIFify, watch it through and look for a short clip that capture the right mood or message.
Remember that viewers may not have that much context. You need to make sure your clips are easy to understand and accessible.
Make your GIFs small and short
Moving image files can be quite large. Big files load slowly and sometimes people won’t stick around to wait for them.
The best way to combat big files is to make your GIFs small and short.
Optimise your GIFs
You can also reduce load speeds by optimising your GIFs to make the file size smaller.
Most video to GIF converters will allow you to optimise GIFs by reducing the number of colours, deleting alternate frames or compressing the file.
GIF files don’t have sound, so if you really need to drive a message home or add some context then you will need to add a caption.
You can do this easily using the Giphy GIF maker tool.