How to post a GIF on Instagram – A Short Guide

GIFs are used throughout all of social media, most commonly on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter.

You may notice that one particular social media giant, Instagram, isn’t listed here and that is because for whatever reason GIFs aren’t as commonly used on there.

Just because they aren’t seen as frequently on Instagram doesn’t mean that you can’t use them there, though.

In this article, we are going to explain how you can post GIFs on Instagram across the various different features on the platform, including posts, stories and direct messages.

How to post a GIF on Instagram – via a standard post

One of the reasons why we don’t see GIFs as frequently on our Instagram feeds is because Instagram makes it unnecessarily difficult to post them directly through the platform.

Instead, users are required to use a third-party platform in order to post a GIF on to their Instagram feed. The easiest and best way to do this is to use Giphy.

Giphy is essentially a GIF search engine which houses all of the best GIFs in the world in one place. Each GIF on the website/app is user generated and searchable via tags.

In order to post a GIF to Instagram through Giphy, please follow these steps:

  1. Download the Giphy app on to your mobile device.
  2. Create an account or sign in to an existing one.
  3. Search for a GIF that you would like to post on to your Instagram feed.
  4. Once you’ve found the GIF that you want to post, select the share button (the icon that looks like a paper aeroplane).
  5. Select the Instagram icon and allow the app to redirect to Instagram.
  6. Select ‘feed’ from the subsequent screen and then follow the usual Instagram posting process to get the GIF posted.

After reading this method, some of you may be wondering whether it’s possible to simply save the GIF to your phone and then post it to Instagram as normal.

Unfortunately, when you try to do this Instagram will just take a freeze-frame of the GIF and post it to your feed as if it is a normal photograph.

As a result, using third party apps like Giphy is the only foolproof way of getting a GIF on to your Instagram feed.

How to post a GIF to your Instagram story

When it comes to posting GIFs to your Instagram story there are more options available to you when compared to posting one to your Instagram feed. You can also tag someone in your Instagram story, too.

You have to options with GIFs – you can either add a GIF over the top of a normal picture, or post a GIF on its own. To add a GIF over the top of a normal picture on your story, please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Instagram account via the Instagram app
  2. Select the ‘+’ button over the top of your profile picture on the top menu bar to add a new post to your story.
  3. Select an image from your camera roll.
  4. Select the sticker icon on the top menu bar.
  5. Use the search bar to search through the GIFs available to you and then select the one that you would like to add.
  6. Manoeuvre the GIF so that it is sitting in the area of your story that you want it to.

If you want to add a GIF to your story on its own then you are going to have to repeat the process we stated earlier for adding a GIF as a standard post to your feed.

The only difference is that on step 6, you will be selecting ‘story’ instead of ‘feed’.

How to add a GIF to an Instagram direct message

The final section of Instagram that is compatible with GIFs is the direct message section. This is where Instagram users can privately converse with one and other.

To add a GIF during one of these conversations, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your Instagram account via the mobile phone app.
  2. Press the direct messaging icon on the top right hand side of the screen.
  3. Select the user which you wish to direct message.
  4. From the message bar, select the sticker icon which is sat furthest to the right.
  5. Use the search bar to find the GIF that you want to send.
  6. Please note that the message will instantly send upon the first tap and there is no confirmation screen.

So, between using the Giphy mobile app and sending GIFs via your Instagram DMs, there are ways that you can send popular GIFs in your account.


To conclude, posting a GIF on Instagram isn’t as easy as it is on other social media platforms. However, it isn’t impossible, and you can upload GIFs to the platform by using a third party platform.

We hope that by following our instructions above you will be able to post GIFs across all areas of Instagram without too much hassle.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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