Everyone loves GIFs. Whether or not you pronounce it like the peanut butter brand JIF (as the creator of the format says it’s supposed to be pronounced), or like the word gift without the T, the act of posting GIFs all around the place is a great thing. The biggest repository of videos on the Internet, YouTube, is a place ripe for the picking for content for GIFs, but before now you had to have some sort of tool or app that would accept video and be able to trim it down to GIF size. Now YouTube has its own built-in GIF creator where you can take clips of any video you want and turn them into GIFs that are a few seconds long. Right now the feature is being rolled out to channels one at a time, much like Google does with all its updates via what they call staged rollouts, but if you want to try it out for yourself the PBS Idea Channel has already been GIF-ized.
Making a GIF is super simple but it requires you to use the desktop web version of YouTube, much like the editing studio requires. Simply find a video you want to turn into a GIF, scroll down to the share button below the video and navigate to the GIF tab. You select the section and how long you want the GIF, which appears to be a six-second maximum, and then hit create GIF. After a second or two of processing, YouTube will provide you with a direct link to the GIF file where you can either hot-link or download for safe keeping to use later. It’s a fantastic feature that’s going to get used a lot, so don’t expect every channel to have this one for a while until Google feels it’s safe to unleash all the GIFs to the world.
YouTube has been getting some really huge updates lately. It got a material design update just last week which brings it in line with most Google apps at this point and with Android 5.0 Lollipop’s design language. It just got offline video support in India two days ago, and of course YouTube Music Key has been making waves since it launched last month alongside the Google Play Music subscription service. Google is making sure YouTube stays cemented in the minds of Internet users and as the main user of all Internet traffic for a long time; after all it’s a huge source of revenue for both Google and all its content providers!