Being on the Internet for any amount of time means that you have probably seen GIFs at one point or another, as they are shared and uploaded through multiple websites, including on social media. There is an app on iOS, which is called Giphy, and it lets you find and share these GIFs, and today it just got a huge update. The Android update is not available as of yet, although it will be coming in the future.
The updates basically give it full functionality, making it a standalone app as compared to just an add-on utility for websites like Facebook Messenger. Now Giphy is standing on its own with this new update, allowing you to find and share GIFs through a number of different sites and channels, including email, text message, social media networks, and Messenger. The mobile app Giphy has only been around since March, which was the debut of Giphy plus Messenger, which was on the Facebook Messenger platform. Back then, this app was more focused on allowing the users to search through just the database on Giphy, and then those GIFs could be shared within the Messenger client on Facebook.
Facebook Messenger is thought to be the number one or number two app on the Apple App Store, so that was supposed to get Giphy a bigger audience, and it did just that. In fact, because of the Messenger, Giphy managed to get in the 50s within the “Photo and Video” category on the Apple App Store, and this was huge for an app that was just meant for the Facebook Messenger platform. The company now says that the user base has extended into the tens of millions, and that is likely why this new update is pushing Giphy into a standalone app as opposed as hanging onto the Facebook Messenger for notoriety.
Giphy 2.0 is debuting a lot of new features, meaning that the Messenger functionality and support is no longer the main attraction or item for users. The app has been rebranded and revamped to let you share to SMS, Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, and email. You also will now be able to save these GIFs to your Camera Roll, which means you can use these GIFs within other apps and you also can copy it to your clipboard if you want to share it immediately.
The COO of Giphy, Adam Leibsohn, said that there was a lot of adoption and engagement with the standalone app, and people were using the app to get GIFs in even more places, so the company decided to rebrand it and built out from it. The company said that the premise is to allow more people to share and find GIFs from even more sources which are used all of the time, such as through social networks, and then be able to send them to email or SMS.
Even though there is a lot of good things for the Giphy update on iOS, the company has still not launched a dedicated keyboard app for the iOS. The ability to support third-party keyboards has been around since iOS 8, and this was designed to let the iOS users do more things with their texts and iMessage apps, including adding and searching for GIFs and emoji. Emoji and GIFs are some of the most popular types of categories for the keyboard apps, so it begs to wonder if and when Giphy will explore this territory. As it stands right now, if you find a GIF you like, you can just tap SMS to start a text message with the GIF embedded, and you also can just copy the GIF and then paste it into a messenger application. Giphy still has not said whether an integration into the keyboard is going to happen, but the company did say that there will be “more fun to come” after the release of Giphy 2.0, so it is only speculation at this point on whether that means iOS keyboard integration.
Also in Giphy 2.0 is a toggle switch which was designed for Auto-Play, and this will help you use the app even when you have a bad connection. If you turn Auto-Play off then it will stop the GIF from being animated, which actually makes the app easier to use, and if you are searching then sometimes turning off is better anyways because of loading issues once in a while when you have the animated GIFs, as that can slow it down some.
You also have 3D Touch support if you have the iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus, which menas you can hard press on the GIF to see previews of them or even copy them to your clipboard, but it does not work on the actual icon itself.