Giphy Cam is the trippy mobile GIF machine you should download right now

Get your GIF on.


Taylor Hatmaker


Published Aug 20, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 3:11 am CDT

Tired of taking acid every time you want shimmering emoji hamburgers to scroll down your bedroom walls? Me too.

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Between GIFs and emoji, exchanging real, full words is not just inconvenient, it’s outmoded. Happily, Giphy Cam—the mobile evolution of beloved online GIF library Giphy—weaves together these two glorious Internet inventions into a set of shareable, surrealistic dreamscapes that drape over whatever your smartphone camera is seeing.

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Finally, there’s an easier way to say “help, there are dolphins behind me” or “fuck you, I am putting on my cool guy sunglasses.” 

Giphy/Taylor Hatmaker

One nice thing about Giphy Cam is that it provides a safe haven from social networks. It’s a standalone tool for creativity, not an ad-fueled honeytrap for your personal data. The app will undoubtedly appeal to the Snapchat generation’s swath of meme-loving insta-sharers, but unlike that app, Giphy Cam is refreshingly devoid of a sign-up process, user names, or ads. 

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Giphy/Taylor Hatmaker

After crafting the Dadaist dreamscape of your choosing and populating it with dancing kittens or scrolling sprinkle doughnuts, you can save it to your mobile device (the app is iOS-only for now), upload it to Instagram, or share it via text, tweet, Facebook Messenger, or email.

Like Nutmeg, a GIF-sharing app that Giphy bought earlier this year, Giphy Cam’s design is extremely clean, putting only a couple of clicks between you and the GIF of your dreams.

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Giphy/Taylor Hatmaker

Nutmeg surely paved the way for Giphy’s quick hop to mobile, and we’re relieved that it happened so fast. Now, to get rid of these dolphins.

Illustration by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Aug 20, 2015, 5:54 pm CDT