Instagram is a photo sharing platform. It built its user base on sharing photos enhanced with its built-in filters but it has also pivoted and become something of a messaging platform. No one installs Instagram to replace their messaging app however, there’s no denying that conversations do happen over DM on the app. This is why Instagram tends to focus on it as much as it does on photo sharing. You can now DM GIFs on Instagram. The GIFs come from Giphy.
DM GIFs On Instagram
This feature was added via an app update so make sure you’re running the latest version of the app. GIFs in DMs are available on both iOS and Android.
Once you’ve updated the Instagram app to the latest version, open the app and tap the paper plane button at the top right to go to your direct messages. Create a new conversation thread or select one of the existing ones.
You should see a GIF button next to the photo and heart buttons inside the text input field. Tap it and enter a keyword to search for a GIF.
Tap the GIF you want to use and it will be sent to the recipient. The GIFs come from Giphy but you do not need the app installed on your phone, nor its keyboard version in order to use the feature. Instagram has, like so many other apps, added Giphy integration within the app.
We did notice that the GIFs in the search results are a bit obscure. Giphy normally has all the GIFs and if you use the dedicated app, or you use it on Twitter, you get far better results i.e., ones featuring more popular GIFs that a user is more likely to be searching for.
Instagram hasn’t, as yet, allowed users to share GIFs. For now, you can still only share videos or photos but the social media app has begun to embrace GIFs as a means of communication. Facebook did it a while ago and Whatsapp supports them as well as Facebook Messenger.
To be clear, GIFs aren’t bad. They just don’t belong everywhere. For an an app like Instagram which focuses on sharing images, and that too beautiful ones, GIFs seem out of place. They may only be in the DMs for now but Instagram already has looping videos and you can add GIFs to your story so it’s not too far fetched to think it might eventually let you share GIFs to your timeline. They might call it something like Live Photos.