YouTube trials GIF-o-matic animated image generator on select video channels

12 Dec 2014

YouTube on desktop and mobile. Photo by Chukcha/Shutterstock

YouTube has answered the call of GIF addicts with a new share option allowing users to generate looping animations from video clips.

When clicking the ‘Share’ button under select YouTube videos, users will now find another option alongside ‘Share’, ‘Embed’ and ‘Email’. The much-hallowed term: ‘GIF’.

GIFs are vastly popular image files that are used to share looping animations. While online platforms to convert YouTube video clips into GIF form already exist, YouTube is making the first steps towards making this available within the video-hosting website itself.

The process is as simple as any other video-sharing options. Users simply select the clip of a maximum of six seconds in length, add image macro-style text across the top and bottom if so desired, then click ‘Create GIF’.

The result is a direct link to the GIF hosted on the YouTube platform, or an embeddable iframe.

Blogger Andy Baio tweeted the revelation on Friday afternoon when he spotted the function on the PBS Idea Channel.

A number of other channels have since been discovered with the GIF generator enabled, including Vsauce, Vlogbrothers, Mental Floss, It’s Okay To Be Smart, Epic Rap Battles of History, AsapScience, Vi Hart, Good Mythical Morning, and Ireland’s own YouTube superstar, Clisare.

YouTube GIFs (Vi Hart)

GIF via Vi Hart/YouTube

YouTube GIFs [vlogbrothers]

GIF via vlogbrothers/YouTube

YouTube GIFs [It's Okay To Be Smart]

GIF via It’s Okay To Be Smart/YouTube

YouTube GIFs [Clisare]

GIF via Clisare/YouTube

Have you spotted any more YouTube channels with GIF-sharing enabled? Let us know on Twitter.

YouTube image by Chukcha via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.