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How to Post GIFs on Instagram in Posts, Stories, DMs, and Comments

Published February 16, 2024

GIFs have become a popular way to express feelings, ideas, and beliefs that are shared by a larger group of people, or society as a whole. They can tell a larger story than words can. While popular on other social networks for years, they have only arrived on Instagram in 2020.

Expressing yourself in fun, creative, and funny ways using GIFs will make conversations on Instagram more lively and engaging. 

While it is still not possible to directly upload GIFs to the popular social media platform, there are a few different methods available for how to post GIFs on Instagram in your stories and posts. 

Here are a few ways to post GIFs on Instagram:

How to Post GIFs on Instagram in Stories

Posting GIFs to a Story is very easy. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Tap on the + icon overlaying your profile picture in the top-left of the screen
  3. Add a photo to your Story
  4. Tap on the Sticker icon in the top menu
  5. Tap on the animated GIF option
  6. Search for a GIF you would like to add to your Story
  7. Resize it by pinching and relocate by holding and moving it around the screen
  8. Tap the rightward arrow in the bottom-right of the screen and then tap the Share button

Posting GIFs in Stories is currently the most popular way GIFs are used on Instagram, so try it out and see if you notice an increase in engagement from using them.

How to Post a GIF in an Instagram DM

Instagram allows you to send GIFs to your friends directly from within the app. 

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Go to your Direct Messages by tapping on the lightning bolt icon in the top-right of the screen
  3. Select a conversation you already have open or tap on the Pencil icon in the top-right of the screen to start a new one after selecting a recipient
  4. Tap the + icon to get to the sticker icon in the bottom-right of the screen within the Message box and tap it to bring up a GIF search page
  5. Select the GIF you would like to share in the chat

If you did it right, you will be able to see your animated GIF within the DM chat with the other Instagram user.

How to Post a GIF on Instagram as a Comment

You can also post GIFs as comments under Instagram posts.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app
  2. Navigate to the post you would like to post a GIF comment under
  3. Tap on the GIF icon beside the message box
  4. Select the GIF you would like to share as a comment

As you can see, posting a GIF as a comment is very straightforward, unlike making them posts.

How to Post GIFs on Instagram as Posts

Although not technically possible from within the app, there is a workaround to posting GIFs to Instagram as posts. It will require converting a file from its GIF format to an MP4 format. 

Here are the steps to do this if you are keen on sharing GIFs from outside of the app onto Instagram:

Method 1: Convert a GIF from GIPHY to an MP4

GIPHY is Instagram’s integrated GIF repository. However, it is also accessible through its own app, as well as its website

There is an easy-to-use tool on GIPHY that enables you to convert a GIF within their library into an MP4 file that is up to 15 seconds long. This means you can post a GIF as a video post.

Method 2: Convert a GIF Into an MP4 Using 3rd Party Tools

GIPHY is just one way to convert a GIF to an MP4. As far as tools outside of Instagram go, it is the preferred option given GIPHY is an official partner of Instagram, providing it with its GIFs directly within the app. However, there are other options as well. 

A popular tool used by Instagrammers is Adobe Express for converting GIFs into MP4 files. Once you do that, you can upload the GIF as a video post.
Bottom Line: GIFs are a fun and creative way to express yourself on Instagram beyond text and images. Use one of the several methods possible for posting GIFs in posts, stories, DMs, and comments.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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