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7 Fun Ways To Use GIFs In Your Instagram Stories

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500 million active users! That’s the number of people that connect using Instagram Stories, making it a vital platform for any on-point social media strategy. 

But what bonuses can you get if you add GIFs to your Instagram Story? 

Well, GIFs have gained immense popularity on social media, and adding a GIF to your IG story can be a smart content tool to boost engagement. Major GIF search engines Tenor, GIPHY, and Gfycat had over 700 million active users collectively in 2018. This just goes to show how popular GIFs have become. 

Adding a GIF to your Instagram Story can add some playfulness, help you to engage your followers using relevant topics and trends, and keep your brand on top of its pop-culture game. 

How To Find GIFs For Your Instagram Stories

Let’s check out how you can use this content goldmine for your strategy. This includes where you can find GIFs for Instagram and how you can add GIFs to your Instagram Story. 

On Instagram

  1. Log in to your account. Click on the (+) sign in the right-hand corner and choose Story, or swipe left to create a new Story. 
  2. Upload your picture or video.
  3. Tap on the sticky note with the folded corner for the Instagram Stickers option. 
  4. Choose the GIF option and you’ll gain access to Instagram’s GIF library. 
  5. Select the perfect moving image and add the GIF to your Instagram story. Done! Plus, you can also search for GIFs with any keyword in the search bar. The Instagram GIF library is integrated with GIPHY, so you can search for trending GIFs from the GIPHY database. 

Outside Instagram

You can also upload your own GIFs to your story using the same method you would if you were sharing a video: 

  1. Download the GIF from a third-party platform like Tenor or Gfycat and save it to your device’s gallery. You can also make your own GIFs using a GIF-creation tool
  2. Log in to your account and swipe left to create a new story. 
  3. Tap on the square in the bottom left corner to access your device gallery. 
  4. Select the GIF and share! 

Keep in mind that using this method will change the aspect ratio of the video when you upload it to your story!

Man taking a photo with phone

7 Fun Ways To Use GIFs In Your Instagram Stories 

Pin Your GIF To A Video On Your Story

Pinning a GIF to your Story video can add a fun ‘ta-da’ moment to your Instagram Story! You can add a GIF to your video story so that it pops in and out at a specific moment. 

To pin your GIF, upload your video and add a GIF to your story from the Instagram library. Once the GIF pops up on your screen, position it where you’d like it to appear on the screen. Long press the GIF and a sliding bar with the option to pin will appear at the bottom of your screen. Slide across the bar to pick the point where you want the GIF to pop up. 

Instagram will load your pin and you can play it back to see if it appears at the right spot. If it doesn’t, you can just repeat the process until you get it right!

Reverse & Resize Your GIF

Take your GIF game a little bit further by customizing the orientation of the GIF. 

You can squeeze or spread your fingers on your screen to shrink or enlarge your GIF size. You can also change the direction, using two fingers on either side of the image and rotating it to the direction you want. Adjusting the size and direction of the GIF ensures it doesn’t seem out of place in your story. 

Accentuate Important Elements In Your Story

With a little shimmer here or a bright circle there, you emphasize certain elements in your stories. Simply search ‘highlight’ from the library to find GIF additions that will focus viewers’ attention on a specific element. For example, you could add a bold arrow to guide users to press on a point on the screen. Or, you could use a sparkle GIF to make some text stand out. 

You can grab your followers’ attention with a good choice in GIF, so think about what you want to achieve with the GIF and take it from there! 

Replace Filters

Instagram has some awesome filters and presets to play with. But, you can also add GIFs to your Instagram Story to create a cool ‘filter’. 

Search ‘accessories’ and you will get a range of cool animated sunglasses, hats, funky body parts (like an oversized nose), and other crazy effects you can add to your selfies. 

Create Your Own Funky Stories’ GIFs

With GIPHY, you can create brand GIFs to add to the Instagram library. Awesome, right?? 

You need to create a brand/artist channel on GIPHY, first. Only then can you upload your personalized GIFs. 

Creating your GIFs is an awesome way to ride the GIF train while still optimizing your Instagram branding and staying relevant. 

React To Other Users

Yes, you want to get all your stuff out there… But remember, Instagram is a social platform. That means you have to do more than post. You must engage! 

Use GIFs to spice up your engagement approaches. Ditch simple comments and text for fun, animation, and magic! For example, if you’re hosting an Ask-Me-Anything session, a GIF here and there could be a great way to respond to Instagram Story questions

Women taking selfies

Stay Relevant & Create A Vibe

Overall, GIFs can be a fabulous tool for your branding and social media strategy. They’re playful and fun, but they can also comment on relevant trends and current affairs. 

Just think about the message and vibe you want for your story, and how it boosts your brand. We guarantee there’s a GIF you can add to your Instagram Story that will just make it better!

Final Thoughts

GIFs are the (gif)ts that keep on giving… Start using GIFs on your Instagram stories right now and we promise you, you will never look back!

Adie Marais

Account Manager | Contentellect - Intelligent Content Creation

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