GIFs can now be added to messages on Instagram Direct.
In a blog post, Instagram announced that tapping the new GIF button in the composer bar in any message thread will bring up a library of trending GIFs, powered by Giphy. It’s already part of the Instagram toolkit by way of Story Stickers, which allow you to put moving images on top of your Story posts. So the inclusion of it in the DMs isn’t too drastic of a change.
Starting today, Instagram Direct will have a GIF button on the composition bar. When you click on it, you’ll be shown a library of the latest trending GIFs, as determined by Giphy itself. If “trending” doesn’t really suit your needs, you can also search for the exact reaction you want. If you’re feeling lucky, you can just type the general search term and hit “random,” meaning Giphy will send your friend the GIF it deems most appropriate for the scenario.
There’s also a ‘random’ button which sends any GIF relevant to the keyword. Instagram has also introduced another minor tool called ‘See all by creator’, which shows users all GIFs created by that Giphy user.
To check all GIFs from a creator, just long press on a GIF and tap on the ‘See all by creator’ option which appears in the pop-up menu. You can also choose to like a particular GIF by tapping on the heart icon that appears below it. However, the functionality will most likely arrive through an update to the service official app, so keep your eyes peeled for any app updates that may be available on your smartphone.
The new feature is rolling out today to Instagram users on both iOS and Android.