Drop everything you are doing and log on to Facebook immediately. The social network has confirmed that animated GIFs will now play in a user’s news feed and, in doing so, have probably gone a long way towards making the written word totally redundant.
Despite the prevalence of GIFs with meme enthusiasts all over the internet, Facebook has long been resistent to the format, claiming the short clips would make the site look “too chaotic”. The company did, however, introduce auto-playing videos in late 2013, while hosting website Giphy has been providing an unofficial workaround that allowed users to share its GIFs. These, however, only played when clicked, as opposed to the automatic looping action that’s synonymous with the format.
Facebook now appears to have finally yielded to popular opinion by allowing GIFs to loop when a user pastes a link into their status update box or as a comment. Uploading the animations directly to the service, however, does not appear to work right now and the update has yet to be rolled out to mobile, apart from, it seems, the native Facebook mobile application on iOS.
Whether or not they do significantly uglify Facebook remains to be seen (the site is already pretty cluttered looking if you ask me). But even so, GIFs are great craic. See below if you don’t believe me.
Facebook has followed Twitter, which began allowing GIFs to be played via its platform last year. The California-based firm provided a short statement to TechCrunch on the development: “We’re rolling out support for animated GIFs in News Feed. This is so you can share more fun, expressive things with your friends on Facebook.”
Mark Zuckerberg image via Shutterstock