Now, technically, gifs fall under all of the same rules as images in terms of usage rights and copyright restrictions. The creator of the gif owns the gif, assuming they created the content. The thing is, most of the time, when you’re finding a gif for use on Facebook, it’s going to be a meme, and most memes are screen captures of TV shows, movies, or other such content. In those cases, the original owner of the gif is actually the producer of the TV show or movie, and the gif itself is a fair use capture of a portion of the content. You won’t get in trouble unless you somehow make a gif version of an entire move – which has been done – and that’s not plausible to use on Facebook.
So, where can you find gifs? You use a gif search engine, of course. Here are four options I like.
Giphy. In addition to being a gif host, Giphy is also a gif search engine. Gifs are tagged by uploaders with hashtags relevant to the gif, and you can search through those tags. It’s a little fickle, though. As you can see with my test search – the Secret of Kells movie – a lot of gifs simply have “secret” as a tag that comes up. Unlike most search engines, Giphy doesn’t respect quotation marks, so you can’t search for whole phrases and exclude other content.
Gifme.io. This is a smaller gif library, sort of like a discount Giphy. As such, it won’t find nearly as many results – and in fact finds nothing for my test query – but it does find some interesting and unique results. It also sources from all over the web, and shows you content from Imgur, Tumblr,
Gfycat. Speaking of Gfycat, it’s one of the other top options I like. It’s all user-created as well, but it has a lot more in the way of tags, including a lot of Tumblr-like commentary tags. It also respects phrases much more completely, so my test query shows a ton of relevant results and very few extraneous results.
Google. Yes, you can use Google specifically to find animated gifs.Plug in your query, go to image results, and click “tools” off to the side. Under tools, click “type” and select animated. This filters your results to only show you animated gifs relevant to your query. You can impose other filters and use all of the standard Google search operators here as well.
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In order to use a gif on Facebook, simply follow the process above to upload it to Giphy and post it in your composer. One thing to note: if you’re not certain about the usage rights of the image, make sure it’s something you can get away with using! You don’t want someone to issue a takedown because of a goofy animated gif, right?
The Easy Way: Using a Web Gif Creator
What happens if you know what you want, but you can’t find a gif of that exact moment to use? Well, that’s where you need to make it yourself. You will need a source, generally a video clip on YouTube or hosted on your local computer. To continue using the example I’ve been running with, we’ll use this video as a source.
The two main options I like to use are Giphy – again – and Makeagif.com. For Giphy, hit the “create” button in blue up at the top. For makeagif.com, click the “youtube to gif” tab. For both, paste in the YouTube URL.