Instagram has confirmed that GIF stickers will be the next addition to Instagram Stories. The Facebook-owned social network has put a heavy focus on the Stories feature ever since its launch, with recent updates focusing on the introduction of new stickers and camera filters. With the latest update, the social network is once again following this path with the introduction of new sticker packs, but this update comes with a slight twist.
Until now, sticker packs have included a variety of static cartoon-like images, but with the newest update Instagram is rolling out a sticker library of animated GIFs which is supported by GIPHY, the same database that offers GIFs on WhatsApp and Twitter. With the new library, Instagram has confirmed that users will be able to add as many stickers as they like to their individual Stories, with the number of stickers available growing over time too. Because of the size of the library, users will be able to input a number of search terms in order to find GIFs. For example, introducing the term "accessories" will bring up GIFs that can be layered onto people's faces, while the search term "peekers" will load up GIFs that pop up and disappear. Aside from this, to further improve the experience Instagram will be making hand-curated GIF recommendations available to users, alongside a list of currently-trending GIFs. The new sticker offerings aren't the only addition with this update, though. In fact, users of Instagram Stories will now finally be able to upload pictures of any size.
Prior to this change the feature cropped images to match the size and aspect ratio of individual smartphone displays, but with the new update, Instagram will be able to pinch on the screen in order to post pictures in their original sizes, with the rest of the display being filled with a color gradient that matches the image. The introduction of GIF stickers and different image sizes comes shortly after the site introduced the ability to share Instagram Stories directly on WhatsApp and new "Recommended" posts in users feeds. Both new features included in today's update will be rolling out gradually over the coming weeks to Android and iOS users across the globe and will be part of version 29 of the Instagram app.