How to Make GIFs on Tumblr

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Get Started with Making a GIF on Tumblr

Two Women Looking at Smartphone
Photo © Tom Merton / Getty Images

For years, Tumblr users have enjoyed posting and reblogging thousands upon thousands of animated GIF images. And now thanks to a recent mobile app update, you can learn how to make GIFs on Tumblr without having to use a separate tool first.

Why Tumblr Is GIF Central

Tumblr is one of the most popular microblogging platforms available today that's completely dominated by visual content. Its users are continuously posting and reblogging photo sets, videos and, of course GIFs. The best posts can go viral in a matter of hours.

GIFs strike the perfect balance between imagery and video. They're short, dynamic, and don't have any audio – so they're perfect for telling mini-stories or showing a short series of scenes that can be viewed and shared easily on both the desktop web and mobile devices.

Most users take scenes from videos to make GIFs that they can post to their blogs, or they simply scour the web for existing GIFs of music videos, memes, TV shows or movies that someone else has already made. Giphy is just one good source of popular GIFs that Tumblr users can take advantage of when they want to include dynamic visual content in their posts and reblogged captions.

How Tumblr Is Further Solidifying Itself as GIF Central

Interestingly enough, Tumblr noticed the big trend in how users were regularly inserting GIFs into their reblogged post captions and introduced a new little feature to help them out with that. You can now easily find and insert GIFs into Tumblr captions without having to upload them first from your computer.

On the desktop web, anytime you reblog a post you can click on a small plus sign button that appears to the left of the caption area, which pulls up some formatting options. One of those options is a GIF button, which allows you to search through existing GIFs already on Tumblr to preview and then insert them into your caption.

Tumblr's Move Toward GIF Creation

Considering how popular the image format is on Tumblr, it makes sense that the blogging platform would launch its own built-in GIF creator tool. This will save users a lot of time and hassle from resorting to using third-party tools and then have to upload them to Tumblr.​

Now, whenever you plan to post a single photo or photoset on Tumblr through the mobile app, you get the option to turn any of your videos or photo busts into GIFs before you post them. It's super simple to do, and you can bet you'll get more likes and reblogs from it since Tumblr users adore this type of content.

Here's how to start making your own GIFs through the Tumblr app. Click through to the next slide to see some visual screenshots.

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Compose a New Photo Post in the Tumblr App

Tumblr Photo Post
Screenshot of Tumblr for iOS

Before you start, you need to have the most recent version of the Tumblr mobile app installed on your iOS or Android device. If you have it already, you should check and see if it's updated to ensure you'll be able to use this new GIF feature.

Once installed or updated, open up the app on your device. Looking at the menu at the bottom of the screen, tap the Compose button located in the very middle (marked by a pencil icon). Next, tap the red Photo post button that's encircled by all the other post type buttons.

A new screen will appear with a Camera option at the top (if you want to snap a photo directly through the app) and a grid of the existing photos and videos you have on your device. You may need to give Tumblr permission to access your photos and videos if this is your first time using this post type through the mobile app.

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Select a Video or Photo Burst Marked with 'GIF'

Tumblr Photos and Videos
Screenshot of Tumblr for iOS

As you scroll down through your photos and videos, you should notice that some will have a 'GIF' label in the top right corner. All videos will have them, and any photo bursts (a group of multiple photos take by your device within a second or so) will include this label.

The label means that it's eligible to be turned into a GIF. If you want to see all videos and photo bursts that can be turned into a GIF, simply tap the 'GIF' option at the very bottom of the screen between 'All' and 'Stills.'

Tap any video or photo burst you want to turn into a GIF.

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Edit Your GIF

Tumblr GIF Editing
Screenshot of Tumblr for iOS

Tumblr will preview your GIF on a new screen. If you chose a video, it will show you a timeline of the video and provide you with a slider that you can slide along the video timeline to select a three-second scene as the GIF.

Once you click 'Next' in the top right corner of the screen, you can tighten up your GIF to be even shorter and customize the speed to play and loop up to four times faster than the original. A preview is displayed as you make your changes, so you can see exactly how it will look before it's published.

Tap 'Done' in the top right corner when you're happy with your GIF.

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Publish Your GIF

Tumblr GIF Post
Screenshot of Tumblr for iOS

You'll be returned to the screen with the grid of photos and videos, and now you'll see that the video or photo burst you just turned into a GIF is highlighted with a blue label. This means that it's ready for posting.

From here, you have the option to turn more videos or photo bursts into GIFs so that you can include multiple GIFs in a photo set, or you can just post the single one you just made. Either tap another video or photo burst to turn it into a GIF, or tap the 'Next' button in the top right corner to go ahead and preview/publish the single GIF you made.

If you decide to include multiple GIFs as a photo set, you can actually drag and drop any one to reorder them. Write an optional caption, add some tags and then hit 'Post' to send it live to your blog for all your followers to see.

And that's it! If you want to do more fun things with GIFs, don't forget to check out some of these articles: