The GIF image format is probably the “oldest” thing that young and very young people still use today on social media and in chat. This format was born in 1987 and is still today a very popular and fun type of image to see, which allows you to create animated images of various types, such as short clips of videos that are repeated in a loop.
GIFs are capable of transmitting a clear message in a few moments, without the need to upload a real video and maintaining the convenience of simple images.
In the guide that follows you will find all the best sites to download GIFs for free, so you can fill your personal collection of GIFs and use the right one at the right time. In addition to the search engines that can be reached via the browser, it will also show you the search engines of the GIFs integrated in modern keyboards for smartphones and tablets.
The best search engine dedicated to animated GIF images is without a doubt GIPHY.
This search engine allows you to find only GIF-type images, always animated; you can then write the name of a famous actor, a character, or any action to find all the animated images.
The home page shows a search bar at the top with many boxes that refer to the most popular searches at the moment. From the site, you can also download GIFs and share them with other users using the buttons available under each GIF. This GIF search engine has become so popular that it is integrated into popular keyboards for smartphones and tablets so that you don’t have to use the site every time you want to use a GIF.
On this page, on this page, you can find special GIF images to express different moods and reactions.
The second search engine you can use to find and download GIFs from the Internet is Tenor.
In a similar way to GIPHY you can search for any type of GIF using the search bar at the top of the site or be inspired by the most used GIFs at the moment, available by scrolling the page continuously.
After choosing the GIF to use, just press one of the buttons under the animated image to quickly share it on Facebook, Twitter, iMessage, or integrate it into a web page via code.
Tenor is another valid search engine integrated within the most famous keyboards and messaging apps, as you will see in the chapter dedicated to searching for GIFs from mobile devices (phones and tablets).
3) Google Images
Those who don’t want to waste time opening specific search sites for GIFs can use Google directly to find them; in this specific case, you will have to use a special filter for the Google Images site.
To proceed, you will need to open the site, look for the subject whose GIF you want to retrieve and, as soon as the search results appear, open the Tools menu at the top, press the Type drop-down menu, and choose the GIF item to have only the images as results GIF.
The thumbnails of the images taken by Google are not moving: you need to open the image by clicking on it to open the preview and see the animated effect of the GIF you have chosen.
4) Other sites to download GIFs
If the sites seen so far are not enough and you want to download new GIFs, you can also try the sites in the following list:
- Reddit: the popular quick idea-sharing site offers a section dedicated to new GIFs, so you can retrieve those just released on the web.
- Gfycat: another valid site where you can download GIFs of all kinds, with subdivision into categories and a dedicated search engine.
- Imgur: huge image sharing site, where there are more than 100 thousand ready-to-use GIFs.
- Gifbin: Very funny GIF site where you can get a random animated image every time you open the page.
- Tumblr: Another famous image site with a large collection of GIFs of all kinds and a dedicated search engine.
Using all the recommended sites you will always find the GIF you were looking for for that particular message to share in chat or on social networks.
5) Search for GIFs on your phone or tablet
On smartphones or tablets you can quickly search for GIFs without even opening web pages, but relying on the GIF search engines integrated into keyboards or messaging apps. For example, on WhatsApp you can search for GIFs by opening any chat, pressing the emoji icon (on the left side of the text typing bar), and pressing the GIF tab at the bottom.
Alternatively, you can use the Gboard keyboard to quickly find the GIFs you are looking for on any app. To proceed, download Gboard for Android or for iPhone, set it as the default keyboard for writing, press on any text field within the messaging or social apps, and press the GIF item at the top of the keyboard.
Searching and using GIFs in chats or messages exchanged on social networks is fun and modern, despite the fact that this image format has existed for dozens of years. To always use the right GIF in our messages, you can use sites dedicated to searching for GIFs, use Google Images with a special active filter, or directly use the keyboard apps on phones and tablets, since they are now all integrated with a search engine for GIFs.