How to Send GIFs on Android

Spice up your Android messages with animated GIFS

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 Android smartphones and tablets running Android 11, Android 10, Android 9.0 (Pie), and Android 8.0 Oreo.

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

Sending GIFs on Android Messages

Android Messages, Google's messaging app, includes the option to send GIFs. You can also use your keyboard's GIF search, which brings up different results. Instructions for adding GIFs using Gboard are below.

  1. Open the Messages app.

  2. Tap Start chat to start a new conversation and type in a contact's name, phone number, or email address. You can also tap an existing conversation.

  3. Tap the plus sign (+).

  4. Tap GIF search.

    GIF search in a new chat on an Android phone
  5. You'll see a few tabs including Recents, Love, and Yes. Tap a tab to see GIFs with that theme. If you don't find what you need, input a search term in the search bar at the top of your screen.

  6. Tap on the GIF you want to share to add it to your message. Type in a message if you want and tap the send icon.

    You can also tap the smiley face next to space bar to access GIF search.

    Adding a gif in Android

Sending GIFs with the Google Keyboard

You can send GIFs directly from Gboard the Google Keyboard using a compatible messaging app. GIF search is built-in, alongside options for emojis, and animations.

  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.

  4. Tap GIF at the bottom of the screen.

  5. Search by keyword or view recent GIFs if you’ve done this before.

    Use broad search terms to get the most results.

    Searching for a gif on an Android phone
  6. Tap the GIF you want to use.

  7. Tap Send or the arrow icon.

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

    The MMS button

Sending GIFs on Android with GIPHY

If you have an older version of Android or want to try another library of GIFs, GIPHY is a place 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.

  1. Launch GIPHY. Or alternatively, you can use the search bar to find GIFs as well.

  2. 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.

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

    Once you press Send ther will appear underneath the GIF, 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.

    Adding a gif from Giphy
  4. 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.

    On Android 11, scroll down to select Attach file. And then choose Photos to browse through images stored in Google Photos.

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

    Texting a gif on an Android phone
  4. Alternatively, you can launch the app where you saved the GIF and share it to your messaging or email app.

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