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Turning your video into a GIF

As a creator, converting between different forms of media is a useful skill to make your creativity go further. 

By converting a video to GIF format, you can create a trailer, capture a special moment, or repurpose your video content for a different platform. 

In this article, we’ll explore how to make a GIF from a video, including recommendations on the best tools to use and ideas on how to use a GIF in your content. 

 

What is a GIF?

A GIF – or Graphics Interchange Format – is an image file that is often used for short animations or simple graphics. 

GIFS are often used for memes, reactions, or short clips. The format appears as a short clip or animation that is soundless, doesn’t require you to press play and can loop continuously. Thanks to their versatility, they’re an ideal tool when wanting to get creative across social media platforms and web content. 

There’s been a debate for decades about how GIF is actually pronounced. Some prefer to say it with a hard ‘G’, while others prefer a soft ‘G’, as in “jif.”

The creator of the GIF, computer scientist Steve Wilhite, confirmed in 2013 that it’s pronounced “jif.” However, in practice, many people pronounce it “gif,” due to the “G” in the word standing for “graphics.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists both pronunciations as correct. So, you can take your pick on which sounds right to you. 

 

How to make a video into a GIF

Thankfully, it’s fairly straightforward to convert a video to GIF with the help of an online tool. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to make a GIF from a video. We’ll include how to make a GIF from a YouTube video, how to convert an .mp4 to GIF, and how to convert a .mov to GIF. 

Select your video: choose the video you want to convert to a GIF and make sure it’s saved on your device as a video file. Compatible video formats include mp4 and mov files. If you want to convert a YouTube clip, you’ll need the link to the original video. 
Choose a GIF creation tool: select a GIF creation tool to convert your video to GIF. Free online tools include Giphy, Canva, or Adobe’s GIF Maker.
Import your video: upload your video to the tool. Either paste your YouTube link or select the file from your device and hit “upload.” 
Select your snippet and settings: select your desired clip for your GIF by trimming your video. Then, choose what settings you want for your GIF. You can select an aspect ratio (a width and height) for use across different platforms. You can also often select other settings such as size, quality, and whether you want the GIF to loop.
Export as GIF: finally, export your clip as a GIF file and save it to your device. You’re now ready to use your GIF across all your creative platforms!


Why convert a video to GIF format?

As a creator, you may have video content that’s too long or has too big of a file size to share easily across platforms. With a GIF, you can split your content into bitesize clips that you can use on your social media accounts, on your website, or in an email. 

Some other reasons you might want to convert a video to a GIF include: 

Converting a video to a GIF allows you to make a short clip of your best moments from your video content. Highlight your creativity by picking some of your funniest or most memorable moments from your video content. 
By converting a video to GIF, you can share a clip easily across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, a website, or a newsletter. You can convert a YouTube video to a GIF, or a video file such as .mov or .mp4. 
A GIF plays multiple images in a loop, which gives it the appearance of an animation, without having to upload or send a large video file. 
GIFs can support transparency, which allows you to insert them on top of other media with a solid background. You could insert a GIF on top of another image in an Instagram Story, for example.

 

Ideas for how to use a GIF

When deciding how to use a GIF in your content, get creative. These versatile files have endless options when it comes to creativity online. 

You could use a GIF to: 
Share a preview of your upcoming video content. Give your followers a preview of your upcoming video before it goes live by sharing an eye-catching GIF across your socials. 
Launch a new product or campaign. Got something new coming up you need to share with your followers? A GIF is ideal for promoting something new as it’s easy to use whether on a social media page, newsletter, or website. 
Create a compilation clip. You could combine some of your best creative moments into one video and then convert that to a GIF to use as a portfolio or showcase of your work.
Create interactive elements. Turn a still image, profile picture, or banner into something dynamic by using a GIF file. 
Share a memorable moment on social media. You can share your GIF to Instagram directly from Giphy. This is a great way to create and share clips of some of your best video moments as a creator. 

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