During a Facebook Live event in December, Mark Zuckerberg indicated that more support for animated GIFs would be coming to the social network, this time within the comment thread. VentureBeat has learned that on Monday, the company will begin testing this feature out to a “small percentage” of people, thereby making it easier to be equally as expressive in their response as it is with posting.
A Facebook spokesperson shared this statement: “Everyone loves a good GIF and we know that people want to be able to use them in comments. So we’re about to start testing the ability to add GIFs to comments and we’ll share more when we can, but for now we repeat that this is just a test.”
Adding support for GIFs in comments probably isn’t going to be a shocking thing for people. After all, it’s likely that there’s going to be a button next to where you can insert a photo or a sticker to add your favorite meme into a message thread. While Facebook didn’t cite any partners, it’s possible that the company is leveraging the extensive GIF libraries of the major providers on the internet: Giphy and Tenor. These two are usually involved in any GIF-related feature on any product, be it iMessage, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, or Twitter.
Testing on this new feature will last for an undetermined period of time, but perhaps the goal is to see whether users would actually insert GIFs into comments. Currently, if you want to respond using a GIF, you’d have to go to Giphy, Tenor, Imgur, or some other image library, copy the URL and paste it into a thread. It works, but it’s not native and less stressful process. This could cause more people to react to posts instead of just posting a reaction.
GIFs come in handy because some times we just don’t know what to say in reaction. So why not use a cat meme or say “Bye Felicia” to a hater, or any other hilarious but suitable GIF to get your message across?