Let’s face it, GIFs are fun. They can often drive home a point better than images do and leave your audience with a smile.
GIFs, for those who aren’t familiar, stands for Graphics Interchange Format. A GIF is a compressed image file format that supports both still and animated images. Most people are familiar with GIFs as short, looped animations or videos. GIFs have been around since 1987, yet seem to be more popular than ever.
Many of Tumblr’s most popular pages offer nothing but animated GIFs as regular content. Both Pinterest and Twitter have adapted by adding animated GIF support to their platforms this year.
As more people share animated GIFs, more tools become available to simplify the creation process. GIF making tools include desktop, mobile, and web-based applications at varying price points.
To help you narrow down the search for the right GIF creation tool for your needs here are some of the latest and most popular web-based applications:
- GIFYouTube is the newest kid on the block of GIF makers. GIFYouTube simply requires users to add “gif” between the “www” and “youtube.com” of the URL of their desired YouTube video or visit their site and paste the URL of a YouTube video into a dialogue box to begin creating a GIF.
- Giffysnap is another recently released GIF maker that strings together uploaded still photos into animated GIFs. Users can modify their animated GIF by designating pixel size and speed.
- Imgflip lets users upload video or photos or submit a YouTube URL to make animated GIFs. Users can customize the size of their animation, add tags and upload to social media.
- Make a GIF allows video and photo upload, YouTube URL submission, or webcam recording to make animated GIFs. Completed animated GIFs can be downloaded or shared via URL or social media.
- GIFsoup only creates animated GIFs from YouTube videos for sharing on social media, blogs, and message boards. Although it’s free, GIFsoup does require user account registration.
- Picasion produces animated GIFs from still images. Images can be imported from a user’s computer, Flickr, or Picasa. Animated GIF size and speed can be customized. Completed animations can be shared on social media or embedded via custom HTML code.
- Giffffr is the best looking and easiest to use of all tools listed in the article. The catch is that Giffffr only makes animated GIFs from YouTube videos and offers no direct sharing to social media. Giffffr allows users to customize size and speed, add text, and download their completed product.
- Giflr is another animated GIF maker that uses only still images. It stands out by offering text and drawing on select animation frames and preview before completion. Finished animated GIFs can be pinned to Pinterest or shared via custom URL.
- GIFMaker.me simply stitches together still photos to create animated GIFs. The online app is easy to use and stands out by offering preview before completion and the ability to add music from YouTube. There is no way to share on social media but completed animated GIFs can be downloaded.
The suggested tools are a great start for beginning animated GIF creators.Â Users who’d like more control can try image editing software like Photoshop or GIMP.