There’s a trend sweeping through the photo and video community that leaves me a bit flummoxed. No, it’s not 4K video. No, it’s not YouTube videos of cats. It’s not even YouTube Red, Google’s new way to extract money from users who are hooked on YouTube videos of cats and jackasses.
It’s GIFs. The graphic interchange file format from way back in the last century, prior to the public internet. On most websites GIFs became old technology, mostly replaced by .PNG files, but having a few advantages over the other graphic format, .JPGs, primarily used in photos.
GIFs can animate, so it’s relatively easy to create GIF videos, and video sharing is all the rage these days so GIFs have made a comeback. Mac users who frequent the Mac App Store will find a number of GIF apps these days, including a new one called GIF Keyboard. It’s a funny name because it doesn’t have much to do with the Mac’s keyboard.
Instead, GIF Keyboard for Mac lets you drag and drop GIFs– photos or videos– directly to the Library in the Menubar, or search for GIFs online, and use them on your Mac. There’s also a GIF keyboard for iPhone. For the Mac, the action starts with a click to the Menubar.
You can find GIFs on the internet and drag and drop them to GIF Keyboard in the Menubar. Likewise, you can find GIFs on Riffsy and drag them from the Menubar to Messages or other apps to be shared with others, including Mail, Facebook, et al.
It’s a mutual GIF admiration society in a free app. The Riffsy website is packed with GIF videos in all sorts of searchable categories so finding a GIF to share with others will be a trial and error proposition. There are millions to choose from. GIF Keyboard on your Mac will also sync up with GIF Keyboard on iPhone.
Think of GIF Keyboard as something of a repository for animated video emojis which can express how you feel about something at a given moment and easily shared online or with friends, family, or co-workers.
Without question it’s possible that GIF keyboard could change your life forever just as it did Terry Pritchard who wrote on the Mac App Store:
Before GIF Keyboard, I felt like I was in the constant cycle of, “I don’t have friends because I don’t know how to talk to people.. I don’t know how to talk to people because I don’t have friends…”
Then, really late last night, I got GIF Keyboard when I saw it was featured on the Mac App Store. I booted it up really fast and was reminded by an empty iMessage convo list that I didn’t have any friends to text.. so without thinking I replied to all on a email at work, dragged and dropped a dank Beyonce GIF directly into my email. I sent the email and went to sleep…
This morning I woke up to 21 email responses from coworkers asking, “HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!” and “OMG TERRY I HAD NO IDEA YOU WERE SO FUNNY.” I also got 66 friend requests online. Three different coworkers asked if they could buy me lunch today. I am booked out for the rest of the week with lunch and happy hour dates. Everyone keeps asking me, “Are those new pants?” and “Are you dating anyone? I have the perfect girl to set you up with.”
Honestly, I am overwhelmed with all the romantic attention I am getting, and all the dudes who want to be bros with me now that they know I have millions of fiery GIFs at my fingertips.
Thank you GIF Keyboard for giving me this awesome superpower. I feel like Tobey McGuire must have felt when he got ripped all of the sudden and could shoot webs out of his wrists after Uncle Ben died in the beginning of The Cider House Rules
Who knew that a free Mac and iPhone app could have such an impact?