It is possible to post just about anything on Facebook these days. While it started off as simple text posts, this has changed over the years to include images, videos, and now GIF visuals. Posting a gif onto your Facebook profile or on someone's post is relatively straightforward, and can be done from both a mobile device and your computer. Of course, in order to do this, you need to know how to post a GIF on Facebook.

What Is a GIF?

The GIF file itself has been around for much longer than many of the other visual file types used. In fact, it first came out in 1987 (although at the time it was known as 87a instead of gif). It was designed by a company called CompuServe to provide a data compressed visual of a short animation. Instead of showing a full running video, which at the time required extensive processing power a computer did not have, it was compressed down into individual images that played for a few seconds before repeating.

Essentially, it would take a video file or graphic animation and pull individual frames from a 24 or 30 frames-per-second image and place the selected frames together. The playback would often appear jumpy, but it made it possible to show visual movement without requiring all the file's frames. When it first came out, it was long before Facebook or the need to know how to post a GIF on Facebook.

A GIF uses a simplified color system. This is why most GIFs do not have the crisp colors of the original animation or video. It is what helps keep the size of the file down. When it first came out, video graphic cards were 8-Bit, which allowed the creation of up to 256 colors. Many current GIFs use this same limited 8-Bit visual, although some file designers do allow for an increased number of colors.

GIF files are often presented in a loop. While the file itself has a begin and an end, when it is presented it will play in a loop. Some files are designed to end where the file began. This way, the GIF looks like it is in a continuous loop, without the sudden jerk of the video ending and then jumping back to the beginning frame. Although, this is not a requirement of the file. As you learn how to post a GIF on Facebook, you'll find many GIFs that are posted on Facebook are done so from movies and other popular pop culture content.

It is possible to pull a GIF from several online sources. However, you can also create your own GIF files. There are a number of GIF programs out there that let you do this, which can be helpful if you want to create your own unique file. Microsoft GIF Animator is one such option. It is also free.

When and Why to Use GIFs

person using phone

Before you learn how to post a GIF on Facebook, you'll want to dive deeper into when and why you should use a GIF on Facebook. The beauty of the GIF is that it is a short animation that doesn't require much processing power or Internet data to play. If you're posting content on your Facebook wall and you want it to play automatically on a loop, a GIF is often better than a video. It also is short and to the point. Likewise, if you're commenting on someone's wall, it may not be possible to post a video reply. YouTube has changed how videos appear, and if you attempt to post a YouTube link, it will no longer play automatically, which reduces the impact.

Posting a GIF is all about providing instant visual gratification. It is easy to perform the task and often provides a desirable reaction to a post that is better than anything you might be able to write. It's all about having fun with what you post and including content that will be received by others. Ultimately, there's no wrong time to post a GIF, unless the user has this option blocked, which in some cases (especially if you're commenting on a business profile) is occasionally a possibility.

How to Post a GIF on Facebook

When it comes to how to post a GIF on Facebook, there are two different ways to go about doing this. It depends on if you want to post the GIF to your personal profile, or if you want to post it onto a comment. Whatever it is you're looking to do, you shouldn't have any issue with it. Once you know how to post a GIF on Facebook and you do it once, it will proceed without any problem, and you'll be able to post as many GIFs as you'd like (and as often as you'd like).

Posting a GIF Onto Your Facebook Profile

If you're looking to post a GIF onto your Facebook profile, you'll want to select your profile and then choose the "Post" option. Under where you write the text you'll see a series of three dots. Click on this button. This brings up a number of possible post options for you to choose from. One of the options you'll see is a "GIF" option.

This method is the same both on a mobile device and on a desktop, so no matter what you're posting on you will follow the same steps. However, if you are posting from a mobile device and want to know how to post a GIF on Facebook, it is recommended to connect to a Wi-Fi signal instead of posting from your user data. This is because even though GIF files do not take up much in the way of data space if you're scrolling through dozens of GIF animations while attempting to select the perfect file, you will use up a good amount of data. So if possible, try to post from Wi-Fi.

After you bring up the GIF option, you will be shown the most popular GIFs currently trending. You can also search by category or mood. If there are specific keywords, you want to search, select the "Search" bar, type in the keywords, and then choose "Search." This will work as a small GIF search engine. Scroll through the GIF animations until you find the one you like.

Select the GIF file you like, and it will upload onto your post field within Facebook. You can type in a message or add other information if you'd like at this time. Once you are satisfied with the particular option you have selected, you can then choose to "Post" the content to your profile.

Posting a GIF Onto a Friend's Post

You are able to post a GIF as a comment on a friend's post. However, you do need to be friends with the individual. You have limited posting options if you are not a friend (even if the person has their profile set to public). You also have limited posting options when posting to a business page. When posting on a friend's page, though, you have more options, so knowing how to post a GIF on Facebook will come in handy.

Select the post you wish to comment on. Click (or select) the comment option and then choose the three dots within the selection field. Again, you'll want to choose the "GIF" option. Facebook will now use the same GIF selection feature that allows you to search for your desired GIF file.

To continue with the how to post a GIF on Facebook instructions, you'll want to type in the keywords for the GIF you're interested in posting, then choose the GIF you want. Once you select this, though, the file will automatically post onto the person's post, so if you want to type any kind of text with the GIF you'll need to type the text ahead of time, or you'll need to make a second comment (or comment on the GIF comment you posted).

Whatever you decide to do, now that you know how to post a GIF on Facebook on a Friend's post, it is a fun little feature to take advantage of, and it can really emphasize a comment you want to make, but it will be in a short animation form.


person drinking coffee using facebook

Facebook has opened up the opportunity to post a number of different file formats onto both your profile and in the comments section of other profiles. It is easy to learn how to post a GIF on Facebook. In fact, all you need to do is use the GIF post feature built within Facebook, and then select the GIF you wish to use.  If you want to post a GIF and the profile you're on allows you to do it, follow these how to post a GIF on Facebook instructions and you'll be good to go. Perhaps you'll tell a funny joke, express some emotions, or sent an animated character to your friend to brighten their day!