Maria Montero

Gfycat ‘GIFs’ can now keep sound on

Gfycat, a home for GIF creation tools and an online community, is rolling out a new way to create GIFs – it will now allow you to keep the sound. With “Gfycat Sound”, as the feature is called, GIF makers will have the option of preserving the audio from the video file they are using to create their “GIF,” something that Gfycat believes will be especially popular with gamers.

The company had already experimented with other non-traditional GIF types, such as longer GIFs, AR GIFs, HD GIFs, and 360 GIFs, for example, to evolve the concept of GIF beyond the classic grainy loop.

Of course, the resulting GIFs are not “.gifs” at this point, they are short-form videos.

The same applies to “Gfycat Sound”. But end users don’t necessarily care about the technical fundamentals of GIFs, they just want to create and share short clips drawn from longer snippets of content.

The company says it decided to implement support for sound after surveying its community for their core feature requests earlier this year. The “GIF with sound” returned as number one in the demand of users.

To take advantage of the additional support, GIF creators will be able to toggle a switch in Gfycat’s upload tool to keep the sound or remove it before creating their GIF. As before, GIFs can be created using a video file that you upload, or via a link that you paste from a site like YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, or anywhere else. And if users upload a .gif file or video that has no sound, the software will detect it at the end.

GIF editing software allows you to select GIF start and end times and add captions before sharing.

Once the GIF has been uploaded to the Gfycat site, users will be able to view the audio GIFs while browsing by clicking the icon at the top right of the GIF to unmute. (The site will stop ringing by default, thankfully you won’t suddenly be bombarded with noise.)

These new “Audio GIFs” work on all desktop and mobile browsers at launch, and will be coming to Gfycat’s iOS and Android apps in 2019, as well as the developer API documentation.

“We see our creators using games first and foremost for Gfycat Sound, as esports has become a global phenomenon,” explains Gfycat CEO Richard Rabbat. “Now, a player can share their achievements with the sound of the ‘shot’ that won him or him the game and achieve more virality for their content,” he says. “We also see that our sports content benefits from Gfycat Sound because now you can share the emotions of the audience,” added Rabbat.

via Gfycat

While an actual GIF file may not have sound, Gfycat isn’t the first GIF toolmaker to have expanded to include short-form videos alongside its traditional collection of .gifs. Imgur did the same in May. The reasoning in that case was similar: sometimes it is necessary to listen to the clip to really enjoy the content. Plus, advertisers love video too.

Despite their goofy nature, GIFs are big business these days. Google acquired a top Tenor GIF platform earlier this year. At the time, the company was seeing more than 12 billion searches per month.