Facebook this afternoon confirmed that it will now support animated GIFs in the Facebook News Feed. Not everyone will see the added functionality immediately, we understand, as the update is still rolling out. The move represents a significant change in direction for Facebook, which has historically made a conscious decision to avoid supporting GIFs, claiming that doing so would make its News Feed “too chaotic.”
Instead of allowing GIFs, Facebook’s focus to date has been on video. The company introduced support for auto-playing videos in late 2013, but despite bringing a more lively, animated feel to the News Feed, the move did not lead Facebook to rolling out support for GIFs. Neither did the introduction of support for GIFs on Twitter last summer – a change that some felt might force Facebook’s hand in the matter.
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