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Facebook Testing Dedicated GIF Support for Messenger

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So, the saga continues. Facebook have already introduced GIF support for their main page and recently enabled access for a horde of third party apps for Messenger based GIF sending (giffing?). Now though, they've started testing ways to add GIF functionality to Messenger without even needing any third party input, by adding a GIF button.

It's basically a means of cutting out the middle man and keeping the process streamlined. The button allows you to trawl through all the trending GIFs on Giphy and Rifffsy and pick the one most appropriate for the moment. Obviously, compared to just searching the entire internet this is hilariously limited, trying to find a very specific GIF can often eat up more time than it should. Particularly if the GIF in question turns out not to exist yet, since then obviously you have to make it, surrender is not an option.

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Since this is only in the testing phase, it's more than likely that measures will be taken to widen the pool you can draw from. This is, of course, provided that once the testing ends Facebook decide to run with it. It's very difficult to say, since they still have all those third party apps to fall back on if needs be. This might just be a way of checking contrasting options, but the intended result is basically the same, sing it with me: keep people from navigating away.

Whatever the case, GIFs are only going to become more integral to Messenger, Facebook can't afford to fall behind trends and this is a big one. The very nature of Messenger makes GIFs an ideal means of communication, given the way that they display body language so easily and often rather poignantly. 

In the broader strokes, more simple multimedia sharing will likely start to appear on Messenger, bit by bit. Image and file sharing is easy, but video uploading and sharing might be due for an overhaul and don't be surprised if document viewing/hosting gets a bit more sophisticated. You might even be able to play MP3 files directly through Messenger before long. If you can do it somewhere else online, chances are you'll be able to do it on Facebook soon.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Facebook Testing Dedicated GIF Support for Messenger Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, July 06, 2015 Rating: 5

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