How to Send a GIF in a Text

Learn what a GIF is and how to effectively implement them into your text message marketing campaigns.

How to Send a GIF in a Text

As more of our lives become our online presence, we have to find ways to communicate our emotions or empathize with what is being said. A common way to do this is by using GIFs. GIFs are animated images that can have text or communicate something with just an image. They have become common on social media, personal emails, and marketing strategies. GIFs are eye-catching, fun, personal, and can communicate a lot of information. GIFs are also easy to use and find. Along with premade GIFs, you can make your own! GIFs can be used in a variety of places, such as texting, emails, and social media platforms.

Why are GIFS so popular, and why should you be using them in your marketing messages?

What is a GIF?

GIF is short for graphics interface format, which is a type of low-resolution format. GIFs are typically moving images, but they can also be still images. How it is formatted and its low quality makes it a GIF. A GIF is a file type that was originally designed for graphics. However, it is most commonly used for simple animated images on the internet.

Even though GIFs can be still images, they are most commonly used as animated images or moving images. It is a short video that plays on a loop in a web browser, text, or email.

As long as the internet has been around, GIFs have been present. They have existed long before the current surge in popularity and have become commonly used as a normal communication tool. 

How to Send a GIF in Text

Sending a GIF is a fun way to express an emotion without blatantly stating that emotion. Some people are better at sending GIFs than others. There is an art to sending them! Each operating system has its own GIF keyboard. The keyboard comes with its way of sending GIFs, and they are usually easy to figure out.

When using your messaging app and typing on the keyboard, you will see a GIF keyboard option. When you tap or click on it, you will see a selection of animated GIFs. Sometimes there is a search bar to find your desired GIF.

There are built-in GIF keyboards in smartphone apps and social media trackers, but there are also specialized apps that offer a huge variety of GIF collections. It's as easy as searching for the GIF that best describes the emotion you would like to display.

How to Send a GIF on IOS devices

To text a GIF using your iPhone default keyboard in the iMessage app:

  1. Open the default messaging app to write a text message.
  2. On the left side, tap the icon with an A on it.
  3. Search for the app called #images (it is usually pink with a magnifying glass.)
  4. Select the #images app and choose your GIF.

How to Send GIFs on Android Devices

To text a GIF using the default Google Keyboard on Android devices:

  1. Open your default messaging app.
  2. Tap on the smiley face emoji on the keyboard.
  3. Tap on the GIF button.
  4. Tap on the search bar and browse GIFs.
  5. Tap on the GIF to preview and then send!

Why the Hype?

Why are GIFs so popular and commonplace in everyday communication and business marketing?

GIFs usually involve small movements with text. Long-format videos can take a lot of time to create, while simple still images are easier to create and use. However, those still images don't always reach the same level of engagement that a video does.

That is why GIFs are so popular; they are a combination of a video and a picture. They can convey an array of messages with a simple format. The movement of the GIF adds a layer of interest to the media being used, helping it to stand out against still images.

Creating GIFs is also quick and easy! You do not have to be tech-savvy to create a GIF. An animated GIF is a simple thing, but it has high expressive effects.

 Why use GIFs?

They might seem silly, but GIFs have a powerful amount of influence. Bringing emotions into the conversation or message in an accessible way can help with persuasive communication.

By making your customers feel what you're trying to convey, you are able to build trust, communicate key points, and create memorable messages. It can be compared to using emojis in marketing. It's a way to invoke emotions.

When you send GIFs you are quickly expressing emotions that people can connect with and relate to. GIFs show the emotion instead of trying to explain it.

The selected GIF can also show information about the sender or business. They can convey that someone is hip, clever, witty, or goofy. When you utilize a common bond, you can develop a sense of reliability between your brand and your customers. You can also use GIFs to directly access the demographic you want to reach.

GIFs are naturally sharable, which makes them a great communication tool. To get customers to share GIFs, you want to create takeaways that will encourage them to share. By adding a GIF to your text message, you are creating fun ways to connect with your customers.

Best Practices for Sending GIFs

Just like anything else in business and marketing, there are procedures and best practices involved with texting GIFs. 

Is this Primary or Secondary Communication?

When you are wanting to add something extra to a message, using a GIF can be the perfect thing. It is a way to emphasize what you are trying to say and what you're trying to communicate. You want to be careful of using GIFs as a primary way of communicating. Sometimes the implied emotions of using a GIF can rub people the wrong way. Because of this, you want to make sure the GIF isn't the entire message. Use GIFs as a way to add to your message, not replace it.

Expanding Brand Messaging

Using GIFs in brand messaging is a way to bring emotion to your brand's mission or image. When you start using GIFs in brand messaging, it is okay to experiment and see what your audience responds to. You can try a variety of funny GIFs, static images, or even make your own GIFs. Trying different things can help you get to know and grow your audience.

When to Use a GIF

When you are telling a story, adding a GIF can add an extra visual that makes things memorable. It can contribute to a story by showing an emotion instead of just trying to convey it with words. By adding a GIF to an infographic or graphic, you can add extra flair and grab someone's attention more effectively. It can be a great way to show how a product works and can also add personality to an email or text message. Using GIFs is even a great way to interact with customers on social media.

There are many ways to include GIFs in your brand and marketing messages. Try to add variety in the way you use GIFs and the channels you use them for! This way you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn't.

How to Find and Create a GIF

Using the default keyboard on a messaging app is the most common way to send a GIF via text message. However, there are third-party apps that have additional GIFs you can use. Along with finding more GIFs, you can create your own GIFs. There are many different options, and a GIF maker is easy to search for. There are multiple third-party apps to help expand your usage of GIFs and to create your own.


So how do you send a GIF? It is as easy as opening your preferred messaging app, selecting the GIF feature, and browsing for a specific GIF or looking at trending GIFs. You are able to preview your GIF and then send it. You can also download third-party apps to create GIFs or find other GIFs your default keyboard may not have. Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, you can start sending GIFs with Salesmsg today!

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