Juuuuuuuuuust in case you’re not caught up, GIFs are the digital images that move, usually a little loop of animation or video. Like this:
Conveniently, the GIF above is our favorite argument for why ‘GIF’ should be pronounced with a hard G. (The soft G belongs to Jif, the peanut butter.)
Anyways. We’re using this quick, breezy series to give you some quick pointers on finding, capturing, and using animated GIFs in your content (with a few extra pointers on using them in email content).
We’ll share the handful of places we find external GIFs (produced by other people on the internet) and what we like best about each of those sources.
Without further ado…
Google Image Search. In our experience, Google is best when you already know what you’re looking for (an exact GIF or a keyword match), probably because Google indexes all the other (public) repositories of GIFs.
Anyways, here’s how to find GIFs by keyword on Google Image Search:
1️⃣ Go to Google Image Search and enter your search terms.
2️⃣ On the results page, click Tools towards the upper-right.
3️⃣ Click the Type dropdown menu and select ‘GIF’.
Another thing: keep an eye on the related search results below the one you’re viewing. Sometimes it’ll yield a higher-quality version of the same GIF.
Last tip here: you can also drag and drop images into the top of Google Image Search if you want to perform a reverse image search!
GIPHY. This site doesn’t always provide as many options as Google, but sometimes it provides more—and depending on the topic/keyword, it might have a better selection of “deep cuts” not easily surfaced on Google.
Two other value-adds from GIPHY:
1️⃣ The option to download GIFs in multiple different formats. In case your content-building application is persnickety or you have specific needs.
Reddit. If Google and GIPHY are “archivers” of the internet’s GIFs, it’s most accurate to say that Reddit is a producer. It’s where a lot of new GIFs are “born,” or at least where a lot of GIFs get their fifteen minutes of fame.
You have to have a “box of chocolates” mentality when you’re browsing Reddit; you never know what you’re gonna get, and that’s part of the fun. Beyond that, it’s just a question of your preferred subreddits; r/GIFs is popular (as is r/funny) and obviously you’ll find some fun new stuff there, but GIFs are a common currency and you’re bound to strike gold eventually if you watch the right places.