Facebook users are now able to respond to comments through GIFs, just in time to celebrate the 30th birthday of the image format.
Whether you pronounce it ‘GIF’ or ‘JIF’, there’s little question that the humble imaging format has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years thanks to meme appeal; and now – just ahead of the format’s 30th birthday – Facebook is allowing users to respond to comments with GIFs.
The update comes in addition to the ability to post GIFs in status updates, and in a bid to prevent the circulation of malicious or harmful images, Facebook will offer up a selection of GIFs through a built-in search function. Read: Facebook launches Disaster Maps to improve crisis response
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the format, Facebook has announced that it will throw a ‘GIF party’ – enabling users to see statistics on existing GIF usage. For parity, Facebook announced earlier this year that over 13 billion GIFs were sent through Facebook Messenger throughout the course of 2016.
Facebook has reported that January 1st – perhaps unsurprisingly – was the busiest day for GIFs on its platform, where 400 million such files were sent over the course of the day.
Facebook users will also be able to use 20 GIFs created by GIPHY, featuring celebrities such as DNCE, Logan Paul, Amanda Cerny, DREEZY, Patrick Starr, Violet Benson, Wuz Good, Brandi Marie, and Landon Moss.
US-based users will have the ability to vote in a live poll for which pronunciation of the format is actually correct, and will have the option of voting between a hard or soft ‘G’ sound. Read: Facebook’s moderation guidelines leak out, reveals how the site handles graphic content
What are your thoughts? Will you relish the opportunity to respond to comments in GIF format? Which pronunciation do you feel is accurate? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA