GIFs have long been the Achilles’ heel of Facebook. However, the world’s biggest social network finally made peace with the Graphics Interchange Format files (GIFs) in May 2015. The platform included the GIF button into the Post and Comment text boxes, while still allowing linking to external GIFs.
Though a long time has passed since, some users still struggle with posting GIFs, mostly with the ones coming from other sites like Reddit, Tumblr, or Giphy. Let’s see what’s going on there.
Facebook and GIFs
Facebook has been very slow to warm up to GIFs. The platform made its debut back in 2004 with a significantly smaller roster of options and abilities than it currently has. In the beginning, there were no built-in options to post GIFs.
However, as things usually go on the internet, people complained and requested the inclusion of native GIF support. Initially, Facebook remained firmly on the other side of the GIF wall. Over time, persistent users broke through the GIF wall and convinced the management of Facebook to reconsider its dislike for GIFs.
The main reason for Facebook’s dislike of GIFs is that it’s essentially a link like every other link, and Facebook really doesn’t like those. Links lead users away from the site’s news feed, comments, and videos, thus negatively impacting Facebook’s traffic and usage statistics.
To make the GIF lovers happy and lower the number of links in the status updates and comments, Facebook came up with the GIF button. This button was incorporated into Post (former Status) and comment text boxes.
GIFs from other online sites like Tumblr and Giphy are still allowed and it doesn’t seem they’ll be banned any time soon, if ever. External links also seem like they’re here to stay for good and it looks like Facebook will not take any decisive measure against them. Instagram, we’re looking at you!
That being said, it is to be expected from Facebook to tailor its algorithms to favor the content created or viewable within the platform.
What Could Go Wrong?
There are three basic ways to post a GIF on Facebook. You can add one via GIF button in the Post box, post one in a comment (also via the GIF button), and link to a GIF on an external site.
Facebook still doesn’t allow uploading a GIF from your computer or mobile devices. Also, posting GIFs in ads or to brand pages is prohibited.
Facebook’s Native GIFs
If you’ve posted a GIF in a status update or in a comment, there should be no problems. The GIF should play normally, considering you got it from Facebook. However, if such thing happens and your super-cool GIF is frozen in your comment box, you should try and re-upload it.
Click on the three little dots next to your comment or status update and select the Edit option. Delete the GIF you posted and try searching for it again in the GIF menu. Once you’ve found it, include it in the comment/status. When you’re done with edits, hit Enter to re-post. If this doesn’t work, you might want to try again. If that fails too, consider using a different GIF.
GIFs from Other Sites
In case you’ve posted a GIF from another site, the chances of getting a frozen image instead of an animated GIF are bigger than in the previous case. The main reason is incorrect posting.
When posting a GIF from the outside, you have to think of it as a standard link. Even though it will appear as an animated image, Facebook will treat it as such. Therefore, when posting a GIF from Giphy or another site, make sure to post GIF’s true URL, not a link to the page where it’s hosted.
For example, your friend graduated from college and you want to show your support with a GIF of a dancing Walt Aikens of Miami Dolphins. If you post the URL to the Giphy page where this GIF is hosted, you might get merely a still image in your comment.
To make things right, go back to the page where you took the link from and right-click on the GIF you want to post. Click on the “Open image in new tab” option in the drop-down menu. Now, select the entire content of the address bar. It is very important to have a link that ends with .gif.
Go back to Facebook and open your comment in the Edit mode. Replace the link to the GIF’s page with the address that you’ve just copied. When you finish tweaking your comment, hit Enter to post it again. You should now have an animated gif instead of a still image in your comment.
Brand Pages and Facebook Ads
If you’ve tried to post a GIF on your Facebook brand page or include it in a paid ad, Facebook will not allow it. There is nothing to be done about it and there is no workaround for that. In this respect, Facebook is very similar to its daughter company/social platform – Instagram.
There are also no third-party apps that can actually help with cheating Facebook and Instagram business and ad algorithms. Some may claim to do so, but none have succeeded yet.
GIF, GIF, Hooray!
Posting GIFs on Facebook is super easy, especially since the inclusion of the GIF button. What’s more, you can also link to GIFs from other sites. However, you better stick to the procedure or you might get a still image instead.
Do you post GIFs in Facebook comments and posts? If you do, have you ever had any problems with them? Tell us about your experiences with Facebook and GIFs in the comments below.