It’s been 30 years since the GIF format first made an appearance on June 15, 1987. CompuServe, a subsidiary of AOL and one of the biggest online service providers at the time, introduced GIF as a color image format replacement for their Black and White run-length encoding (RLE) format. Celebrating three decades of the image format, Facebook has introduced the ability to post GIFs in comments. Users could already post GIFs as their status updates, and now they also have an option of doing so in the comments section. Users can select from a whole library of GIFs right inside the social network.
Introducing the feature, Facebook wrote in a blogpost, “We know people love communicating with GIFs on Messenger, and we’re also making it easier to use GIFs on Facebook. Today we’re introducing the ability to add GIFs in comments for all people on Facebook globally.”
Marking GIFs 30th birthday, Facebook also shared some insights on the popularity of the format on the social media platform. For instance, Messenger users sent nearly 25,000 GIFs per minute last year. That’s nearly 13 billion GIFs shared on the chat platform in a year. Facebook says GIFs sent on Messenger have tripled in the past year. 2017 New Year’s Day was the most popular day for sharing GIFs on Facebook Messenger, with nearly 400 million GIFs shared on the day.
To use GIFs in the comments section, users need to tap the GIF button while they are making a comment, type in what they’re looking to say, and add the GIF of their choice to their comment.