Create gifs and send them via whatsapp: this is how it works

The big GIF guide for Android smartphones and iPhones

Sending GIFs via WhatsApp

Source: Katharina Schell / handy.en

You’re amazed, angry, in love, confused or in a celebratory mood? Then you probably send the well-known emojis via the popular chat messenger WhatsApp. ÜSurprise your chat partners with something more unusual like an animated GIF. Because for some time now you can send not only emojis, photos or videos, but also the popular GIFs via WhatsApp. How this works with your iPhone or Android smartphone, where you can find GIFs on the internet or with which GIF app you can even easily create GIFs yourself, we explain in this article.

What is a GIF?

But first we should clarify the question, what is a GIF at all?. The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) was invented more than 30 years ago by Steve Wilhite, a computer scientist at the US online service CompuServe. The online service introduced it in 1987 as a successor to the previously used RLE format, which could only display black and white images. Fun fact on the side: In 2013, Wilhite received a Webby Award for inventing the GIF. During the award ceremony, he pointed out to the New York Times again on the wrong pronunciation. According to the inventor, it is called "Jif", not "Gif". In this country, however, the pronunciation of the acronym with the hard consonant is more widespread. The Oxford English Dictionary allows both pronunciations. But Wilhite affirms: "It’s a soft ‘G’. Pronounced ‘jif. Basta.“

This video of the Honor 10 is also a self-created GIF

As you can see, this moving image format is not a modern invention, but dates back to the 80s. Meanwhile, this special image format is very popular on social networks and in messengers, for fun or to express a feeling. Why GIFs work so well? Because GIFs often show a short segment from a movie, a series, a comic or other short video parts with people or animals. Since GIFs are only a few seconds long, they also require little storage space and can be sent faster and better than complete videos. The graphic format allows almost lossless compression of images and is supported by all browsers. Reason enough that Facebook also began to support GIFs in 2015, after the social network had initially refused to do so. No one can get around the GIF trend.

Copyright GIFs

So much fun GIFs also prepare in the various social media and messengers: Copyright should also be remembered with GIFs. Because in Germany there is a very strict copyright law for pictures. If the image, GIF or video does not belong to you, you are not allowed to distribute it so easily. Especially with public postings like z.B. with Facebook or Twitter, you move in a gray area. Because the image rights to the funny GIF from your favorite movie are not yours, but the movie studio’s. So far, there have been no major waves of warnings due to the use of a GIF in public space. Nevertheless, there is theoretically the risk that the creator of the image will contact you. Then a warning or even a penalty payment for the violation of the image right threatens.

In the private chat area, the situation looks a bit more relaxed. In the interview with Netpilots äChristian Solmecke, a lawyer for IT, media and Internet law, said: "Anyone who downloads GIFs from the Internet and then publishes them, for example, not in Messenger, but in Facebook’s chronicle, must exercise particular caution.“

Where to find GIFs?

Even though WhatsApp, Twitter and Co. If you meanwhile fall back on integrated GIF databases, it is nevertheless not wrong to know, where in the net you find the coolest GIFs. Because there you have a larger selection and can your favorite GIFs z.B. also save it on your laptop or smartphone.

Industry leader in the GIF market is the platform Giphy. As a large English-language portal, you will receive even more suitable results if you perform your search in English. In the different sections you can also search for specific reactions or categories. Also handy: The platform offers a free app for both Android and iOS, with which you can get your new favorite GIF even faster on the go.

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