Serving as snackable — and often laughable — bits of visual content, GIFs help us accurately convey our thoughts and feelings when we're limited to virtual communication.
The trouble is, finding the perfect GIF by hunting through Google Image Search or that desktop folder of your favorites can take way more time than it's worth.
Finding the right GIF doesn't have to be a lengthy process, you just have to know where to look. To help, we've collected 10 awesome websites below that'll help you find what you're looking for quickly, without forcing you to lower your GIF standards.
(Or, want to create your very own GIF? Check out this tutorial to learn how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop.)
10 Sites for Finding the Perfect GIF
- Reaction GIFs
This is my go-to resource for GIF hunting. Launched by Alex Chung and Jace Cooke, GIPHY started out as a search engine for GIFs. They've grown GIPHY significantly by partnering with brands, introducing integrations, creating browser extensions, and much more. (To catch up on all of their expansion efforts, check out GIPHY Labs.)
The best part? Navigating the database of GIFs couldn't be easier: Users can browse categories — Adjectives, Music, Nature, Science, etc. — or seek out a specific word or phrase using the search functionality.
Reddit is like the mothership for GIFs: The community boasts not one, but several impressive GIF-related subreddits. Here are a few noteworthy ones:
While all of the different, categorized options make it easy for you to find what you need, many of these subreddits commit to a series of guidelines to refine their entries even further. For example, while "reaction gifs" and "analogy gifs" may sound pretty similar, there's actually a difference according to the /r/reactiongif's wiki page. Allow me to demonstrate...
I don’t know about you but when I find out payday is coming up I react like:
When I try answering emails before my coffee, I feel like:
As explained on the /r/reactiongif's wiki page, "A reaction gif is a physical or emotional response that is captured in a .gif which you can link in response to someone or something on the Internet. A gif which is a metaphorical reaction to something does not qualify as a reaction gif. Generally speaking, most posts that use the term "How I Feel When" are analogy gifs."
Tumblr is a huge blogging platform where GIFs are made and shared like crazy. Bloggers on this platform do an excellent job of pairing relevant GIFs with relatable scenarios. There’s plenty of blogs dedicated to sharing funny GIFs daily, but my favorite ones to share on a Monday would be in hashtags like #work-memes #workfromhome and more.
We all know that feeling — right? (If not, then I must ask you, what’s it like to be perfect?)
Anyways, all you have to do is use the top search bar to lookup hashtags of the content you’re looking for, or follow some blog pages that are dedicated to uploading GIFs daily. GIFs featured on Tumblr are either handmade in Photoshop by the creators or sourced from different websites, and they're pretty good about giving credit where credit is due.
Gfycat is another gallery with millions of GIFs to dive into. Not only is it one of the most popular GIF sites, but it has an easy Video-to-Gif creator tool to turn your favorite Twitter, Vimeo, and Twitch streams into your library of memes.
Navigate its selection of GIFs from the search bar or left menu, choosing from the latest “Trending” or “Explore” section to find different popular categories of GIFs or stickers.
And who would I be to share a site called “Gfycat” without an obligatory cat GIF?
Tenor is a great way to throw a relatable GIF into any conversation, whether on your PC or iPhone.
Having funny GIFs at your fingertips is a great way to share a quick laugh with your friends and family. All you have to do is type in how you’re feeling on your phone’s keyboard and Tenor will automatically start populating tons of GIFs. Perfect for putting in your conversation with cousin Katy who still gets a kick out of watching America’s Funniest Home Videos.
This site serves up an appropriate GIF for just about anything you're thinking. Depending on what you're searching for, there are several different ways to uncover a perfect match.
One way is to use the dropdown menus on the right side of the site. These menus allow users to surface GIFs that match a specific feeling (tired, confused, proud, etc.) or answer (yes, no, undecided, etc.). For example, a search for "excited" might surface something like this:
Users also have the option to search by galleries or tags. Galleries are organized into categories such as "OMG," "Dance Party," and "LOL," but there’s plenty more tags to explore.
Here's another stellar resource for uncovering GIFs.
On GIFbin, users can filter thumbnails by "Newest," "Top Rated," and "Most Viewed," or by tags. The interesting thing about GIFbin's tag system is that they are categorized by both name and count.
While the names are pretty standard search terms — animals, babies, sports, etc. — the count feature allows you to easily uncover terms with the highest volume of available GIFs. Check it out:
Or if you’ve got too much free time on your hands like me, click through the rabbit hole— I mean— “random GIF” button for endless fun.
Ah yes, Imgur, the Reddit of GIF sites without all the text threads.
Imgur is an image hosting site that shares an array of funny or cool GIFs. It’s library is a mix between new uploads and even some of my favorites from the 2010s.
Search up any tags for all the funny movie edits, or whatever else you’re interested in via Imgur.
Imgflip is another extensive library of GIFs. There are a few ways to browse Imgflip content, as detailed on the website:
- Hot/Latest images on the homepage
- Use the Previous / Next / Random navigation on image pages
- Use the hotkeys as described on image pages
- Tag pages (such as cats)
- Meme pages such as Grumpy Cat, found on the meme templates page
If you like a little competition, you can create your own GIFs and earn a spot on the leaderboard. If your GIF gets upvoted enough, you can bask in the glory of making strangers on the internet laugh.
Last but not least, we have Gyazo. This website is a bit different from the others, but with this tool you can capture your PC screen (like a clip instead of a screenshot) and create GIFs out of them. Made to convert footage into GIFs quickly, it stores your library in your account, so you can link or download your favorite GIFs whenever you want.
As a different method to making your own GIFs, Gyazo makes it easy to create, store, and share your favorite GIFs with your favorite people.
For your viewing pleasure, enjoy some GIFception as I used Gyazo myself to make a GIF out of a video of someone using Gyazo to make a GIF.
Why You Should Use GIFs in a Business Setting
On a more serious note, GIFs are another form of visual content that can be used for both fun, and strategically for marketing. For businesses, they can be a tool to demonstrate company culture and drive more engagement by appealing to customers looking for authenticity.
On an internal level, exchanging GIFs in conversation or including them throughout presentations can help break up the monotony of day-to-day business.
Adding some level of quirkiness in meetings or seminars can keep employees more engaged and satisfied than otherwise. Plus, it never hurts to share a quick laugh in the office, as long as you don’t get too carried away.
55% of B2C content creators say that creating or sharing visual content is a big priority for them presently. Similar to videos or live recordings, using GIFs to convey ideas in a business setting offers viewers visuals that are more stimulating than text-only content.
For instance, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retain 65% of the information three days later.
Also, using GIFs on social media accounts is a great way to catch the attention of potential customers. Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, or a blogging platform, adding a visual like GIFs to your post can prove useful to a business.
The World is Your Image Library
There’s plenty of websites to choose from when it comes to finding some pretty cool GIFs. Whether you need to send one to your coworker's birthday email chain, or make your brother, Trevor, laugh at the dinner table, we hope this list helps narrow down your search for the perfect GIF.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.