Since their invention more than 30 years ago (four years before the World Wide Web even), GIFs have come to be one of the most popular and beloved forms of expression on the internet. Indeed, the looping, flipbook-like animated GIF (or graphics interchange format) has been so influential in shaping our online communication that many “GIFs” you see on Twitter and Imgur are just video files coded to act like GIFs.
Today, there’s an ever-growing number of apps for finding and sharing GIFs. One of the most common is the GIF keyboard. These keyboards integrate with your smartphone’s standard keyboard so you can easily find and insert animated images into your messages. Some social platforms and apps—such as Facebook Messenger and Tinder—already have GIF search built in.