How to Make Gifs Like a Legend

how to make a gif in 2019
Irene Wind
A writer by day, a bookaholic by night, and a social media geek by nature, Irene shares only best practices in social media management.
≈ 8 min read
Upd. on: 2 Aug 2021

If you’re trying to build a presence on social media, much like eating your vegetables, it’s in your best interest to learn how to make a GIF. These beautiful animations, more emotion sparkling than images, and less time-consuming than videos, have become the public’s favorites a long long time ago and haven’t lost their charm since. GIFs are used in many ways on social. So either you need to reply to comments or to just help your brand go viral and get more followers and engagement, a GIF is a go-to.

Why Make GIFs

The main reason why you want to make GIFs is because… well… They are extremely popular! Huh! Let me illustrate just a few facts.

Google trends show the increasing stability of GIFs in the United States:

In 2018, Google purchased Tenor, a GIF archive the main objective of which is to help users find the GIFs they want. Right now, Tenor has more than 400 million GIF searches per day.

As more proof, consider GIPHY, one of the web’s run-after GIF databases that claims to have around 300 million daily users. It should come as no surprise, as GIFs have become mainstream. In fact, GIFs are small in size and easy to load, and that makes them extremely mobile-friendly and responsive. Little pigeons can carry great messages, right?

According to Giphy’s CEO, Alex Chung, “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but  as the average GIF contains sixty frames, then they’re capable of conveying 60,000 words – the same as the average novel.”

Static images are less entertaining when compared to GIFs, don’t you agree? As you’ll see later on here, it doesn’t take long to create GIFs from photos.

And yes, by the way:

Types of GIFs

At first glance, you may think that there’s nothing super special about GIFs. But you’re wrong – GIFs are also made to stick to certain rules and types. Some of them can repeat your favorite HBO series. Some of them can be a genuine piece of art. They can even be something that a designer would include to his or her portfolio. In fact, there are three popular types of GIFs: reaction GIFs, looping GIFs, and cinemagraphs, each performing different functions and used in certain ways to boost engagement on social. But let’s first learn from famous brands how they create GIFs.

Reaction GIFs

If you want to frame a flash of emotion, consider a reaction GIF. As the most well-known genre, reaction GIFs are a way to show responses and emotions. A popular example of a reaction GIF is from Zootropolis, which shows three emotions simultaneously.  

This animated clip resonates with the public in many ways and can be used to criticize someone for slowness. Generally, with reaction GIFs one can show absolutely anything – from general feelings to specific and situational specific answers. And your post or comment won’t be left unnoticed, for sure.

Reaction GIFs are better off as answers to comments, that’s true. But thanks to the latest Facebook update you can comment with a GIF that will be published in actual size. That means it can be more noticeable.

Looping GIFs

Looping GIFs are to show you a process that never ends until you stop it. The best loops will keep you watching for some time as you wonder how they were made to play so seamlessly. I bet you’ve seen him:

If you use MailChimp to send newsletters, you most likely know what a looping GIF is. It appears when everything’s ready and you’re going to push that last button:

how to create gifs

MailChimp definitely knows the art of making evergreen GIFs and by their example, you can learn how to use looping GIFs specifically for your brand!


The value branded GIFs can bring to your social media campaigns is immense, really. “Cinemagraphs” is a strange word that even Grammarly doesn’t recognize, but it is a special type of a GIF with one or two areas of motion. Making pictures into GIFs, you can put in motion some of its parts like distant waterfalls or city streets. This type of GIFs is popular with the traveling niche, as you can visualize a serene, peaceful quality.

Even though this type of GIFs is very attractive and you might like them, cinemagraphs are quite difficult to create. If you need to create your own cinemagraph, watch this great video tutorial that explains the process you can follow, using your own footage and some Photoshop skills.

Where to Find a GIF

The simplest proven way would be to use Google’s Image Search. It’s possible to track down any GIF by clicking “Search Tools” under the search bar, then go into the “Any Type” dropdown and select “Animated.” Here you go. A page full of GIFs to pick through. Not 100% of the results are animated, but you’ll find a lot of gems. Don’t thank me 😉

These websites also offer ones to enhance your social media marketing:

  • GIPHY. This is the most famous and easy to navigate database of GIFs you could ever want. It allows you to quickly find the perfect GIF for any emotion or mood. You can download their free GIFs and upload yours, but the best thing about GIPHY is that you can create your own from photos and videos.
  • Reaction GIFs. If there’s an emotion of happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, or anger you’d like to express, this one is also a good place to find something tailored to your taste. The only thing you need to do is to select your feeling, and matching GIFs will pop up.
  • Tenor. This database is trusted by famous brands like Forbes, CNN, Bloomberg, and others… Most importantly, Tenor has 12 billions of GIF searches every month!

PromoRepublic, our smart posting tool also has more than 100,000 freshly made original creatives, including GIFs. Have you seen them elsewhere? Of course, you haven’t!

PromoRepublic GIF

Click on this image to see how you can customize it in PromoRepublic interface.

How to Make GIFs from Photos

Finding a GIF is not a problem. Making GIFs from photos or videos is a breeze, too.

Let’s be honest, brands want to post unique content. They want to be ingenious. This leads us to the next set of questions:

  • How do we transform our greatest moments into animated flashes of fun?
  • How do we make pictures into GIFs?

The easiest way to create an original piece of content in motion, or a GIF from a set of images, is to start with taking photos. Take as many photos as you can from your phone, framing the moments you like. What I’ve noticed is that Google Photos can surprise you with its own animation in the form of a video. If that’s the case, jump to the next section of how to make a GIF from a video.

But there are many online tools that can easily convert both pictures and videos to GIFs. One such free tool is Imgflip. It helps you make high-quality animated GIFs from pictures online for free, with simple and powerful customization options.

How to Create a GIF from a Video

You can also make GIFs from videos of any duration, using GIPHY application. The following steps will help you create one.

  1. Download free GIPHY application to your desktop.
  2. Open any video you want to create a GIF from.
  3. Open the application and choose the video.

Nice and easy, isn’t it?

Save the GIF and upload it on your social media accounts.

How to Make a Killer GIF in Photoshop

You can also create GIFs from photos and videos in Photoshop. The process, however, is more time-consuming. To make a photo series into a GIF in Photoshop, you can follow the next steps.

  1. Number your pictures to make sure they will appear in order in your GIF.
  2. Go to File > Stack > Load Files section. Click Browse to choose the images you want to use. Use Shift to select the full list of prepared photos. One photo is equivalent to one frame in your GIF.
  3. Go to Window > Timeline to make a timeline for the GIF.
  4. When a small box appears under the first image in your list, click Create Frame Animation.
  5. Click on the hamburger menu in the top right of the “Timeline” panel, scroll down, and click to Make Frames From Layers. Now you can play the animation and export it.

How to Make GIFs from Videos and Images on Mobile

Yes, technology has come further. There are multiple tools designed to help you create a unique GIF in just a few minutes. One such tool is GIPHY Cam, a mobile app that allows you to make GIFs on your phone. It’s user-friendly, just like Snapchat or Instagram. All you need to do is to install the app and start recording. You can either tap the photo button a few times or hold it for a longer time. While editing your GIF, you can also choose a particular filter and even add some stickers. Android users can use GIFDroid to turn their videos into animated GIFs. So you will be able to either select a video or record one and transform it into a looping GIF, for example.

How to Publish a GIF

After making your videos and photos into GIFs, it’s time to share them to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin.

When you create the GIF, you will have the option to upload it on the GIPHY service. You need to do this to get the URL that you will paste in a Facebook post. To post your work, simply paste the URL of an animated GIF into Facebook’s “update status” field. You can then add text as usual. Twitter offers you pretty much readymade GIFs, so you can find your GIF of choice. Alternatively, upload your own that you previously saved with GIPHY.

If you don’t have time for making unique GIFs, PromoRepublic will get you covered. Our smart posting system has a library of post ideas, including premade GIFs. You choose a GIF and schedule to share it. The tool will show you the best time, based on the time zone of the audience you select. How could it be simpler if you need to share a single piece of content to five places simultaneously?

new gifs

Do you use GIFs? Have your marketing campaigns improved? Let’s talk! Leave your answers in the comments below.


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