GIFs have arrived on Facebook.
The social network confirmed today that it is starting the rollout of supporting GIFs in its Newsfeeds. “”We built support for animated GIFs to help people express themselves in fun new ways on Facebook,” a spokesperson said.
Previously, there had been workarounds with apps like Giphy to post the animated images to Facebook, but they were not officially supported by the company. Facebook had been reticent to support the animated, meme-like images, but has apparently relaxed its position after the successful introduction of its auto-play videos.
Right now, it appears posting ability is limited to GIFs hosted elsewhere so you need to find a link to one on Giphy, Imgur, Tumblr, or whatever site you choose. Paste the link into your status update, and it should post the GIF inline to your Facebook news feed.
For now, only personal users can post, not pages, so competition for the greatest GIFs will remain among friends.
“Like many features that we release on Facebook, we want to ensure that this drives a great experience for people first before rolling it out more widely,” the spokesperson said. “While Pages cannot currently post GIFs, we are exploring ways to enable this in the future.”