Facebook has officially announced that the company will begin supporting GIFs in its news feed. The GIF's will be displayed both on the mobile and web versions of the social networking site.
Facebook says that this is a much demanded feature by users. The company will be rolling out the changes and users will be able to see the animated images in their News Feeds soon. Users will not be able to upload GIFs, but can paste any link that ends in .gif from databases like Giphy and Imgur. For now, users can only post GIFs in their personal profiles and the feature will not work on business pages. A Facebook spokesperson stated, "We're rolling out support for animated GIFs in News Feed. This is so you can share more fun, expressive things with your friends on Facebook". "GIFs will auto-play on Facebook in line with your current video auto play settings. If you choose to disable auto play in your settings, you can tap or click a GIF (as indicated by “GIF” in a white circle on the image) to play it instead."
Facebook had removed GIF support from status updates, as the company had earlier stated that it makes the News Feed chaotic. Earlier Facebook had stated that GIFs could lead to its news feed to become cluttered with low-quality memes instead of quality content. Instead the social networking site has been focusing on videos in its news feed, which it introduced in 2013. However, GIFs have become very popular recently on social networking sites. Last year, Twitter has also added GIF support in its News Feed, forcing Facebook to make the change. Facebook has reportedly incorporated the move to help make the site "cool" again. The social networking site has reportedly seen a decline among teenagers users. According to reports, teenagers users between the ages of 13 and 17 has declined to 88 percent in 2014, down from 94 percent in 2013 and 95 percent in 2012. Overall, approximately 45 pc of teens are now using Facebook, compared with 72 pc reported in 2013.