How to Send GIFs on Android

Sending GIFS on Android devices

GIFs on Android when searching Happy Birthday and laugh in the messaging app

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a GIF worth? Animated GIFs are moving images that play in a short loop, and are a great way to react to an incoming message or on social media.

On Android, there are a handful of ways to send GIFs using either the stock keyboard and messaging app or any number of third-party apps including GIPHY. Here’s how to send GIFs on Android depending on which OS you’re smartphone is running.

These instructions apply to both Android smartphones and tablets, regardless of the manufacturer.

Sending GIFs on Android 7.1 Nougat and Later

Starting with Android 7.1 Nougat, you can send GIFs directly from Gboard the Google Keyboard using a compatible messaging app like Android Messages

To check which Android OS you’re running go to Settings > System > About phone, then scroll down to Android version. To see if you can update your Android’s operating system, go to Settings > System > System update > Check for update. 

  1. Go to a conversation or start a new one.

  2. Tap inside the text message bar to launch the keyboard.

  3. Tap the smiley face icon next to the space bar.

    Android keyboard in text messaging app
  4. Tap GIF at the bottom of the screen.

    Android keyboard showing GIFs results when searching Thank you
  5. Search by keyword or view recent GIFs if you’ve done this before.

    Use broad search terms to get the most results.

  6. Tap the GIF you want to use.

  7. Tap Send.

    You can also tap the plus sign (+) next to the message bar to access GIF search

    Sending GIFs on Android with GIPHY

    Image of a Shiba Inu typing on a laptop inside the GIPHY app

    If you have an older version of Android or want to try another library of GIFs, GIPHY is a library of such images where you can also upload your creations. You don’t need a login unless you want to save favorites; otherwise, you can browse and share GIFs freely.

    To send a GIF with GIPHY:

  8. Launch the app.

  9. On the home screen, you’ll see trending and seasonal GIFs. Tap the planet symbol to see other categories including reactions, greetings, occasions, animals, and memes. Tap the plus symbol to upload GIFs.

  10. When you find a GIF you like, tap on the image.

  11. Underneath the GIF are symbols for apps including Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others, as well as a download link and a share button. The share button shows other apps on your phone that you can send the GIFs through, such as Android Messages.

  12. Choose the app you want to use, write a message, and hit send.

Sending GIFs Saved on Your Android

Finally, you can also send GIFs as attachments to your messages and emails if you’ve saved to your gallery, Google Photos, or any cloud storage system.

To add an attachment when using Android Messages:

  1. Tap the plus sign (+) next to the message bar.

  2. Next to Camera, scroll through your images to find the GIF you want to send.

  3. Add a message if you want and hit Send.

  4. Alternatively, you can launch the app where you saved the GIF and share it to your messaging or email app.