Google+ courts new users with GIFs

Google announced Monday that Google+ subscribers will soon be able to use animated GIFs for their profile picture.

The move comes just one week after Google rolled out a new search function for GIFs. The company broke the news via the Google+ account of software engineer Matt Steiner.

“It will animate on the profile page on both desktop and mobile,” Steiner wrote, “like newspapers in Harry Potter.”

Google also included a link on its post that leads to a search for “How to create a gif.” To make it even easier for you, here’s the Daily Dot’s own helpful and simple step-by-step guide to GIFing everything you see. As if that’s not enough, we’ve also compiled five apps that will have you GIFing in no time.

Google+ could be using GIFs to a leg up on its competitors. In September 2012, Twitter announced that it would no longer be allowing users to have an animated GIF as a profile image. Likewise, Facebook has never allowed its subscribers to use animated GIFs likely because there hasn’t been a strong vocal group advocating for it. The biggest pro-GIF group on the social network has a measly 671 likes.

The move also breaks up Tumblr’s GIF monopoly. The ability to host the image format has long been a distinguishing feature the microblogging community, where users seemingly only communicate in reaction GIFs.

Photo via meneame communicacions/Flickr

Fidel Martinez

Fidel Martinez

Fidel Martinez is a web culture and politics reporter. His work for the Daily Dot focused on Reddit and YouTube.