How to add GIFs to Threads

Meta’s new Twitter-like platform supports the format but can really make you work for it.
Phone showing a GIF on the Threads apps
Threads doesn't have a built-in GIF feature, but in the meantime you can still express yourself with these workarounds. Walling / Unsplash and Sandra Gutierrez for Popular Science

In this day and age, GIFs are a basic form of online communication—just as essential as emojis and memes. 

So imagine our surprise when, on Threads’ first day online, we realized the new Twitter alternative didn’t have full GIF integration. Shock. Not only that, but the platform doesn’t play nice with the built-in GIF features on Gboard or the iPhone’s keyboard. 

Worry not—even in the early stages of Meta’s new social network, users have found workarounds to make sure everyone can see exactly how they feel about something in their threads 

Add GIFs to Threads on iOS

If you have an iPhone you’ve been blessed with the ability to easily share GIFs on Threads. 

1. Go to your search engine of choice and look for your GIF. Make sure to use the word “gif” as part of your search, as it’s possible that you might only find JPEGs and we’re only here for those animated images.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure about what you’re looking for, you might want to check out Know Your Meme or Giphy. These online databases can help you find the specific name of the meme you want or the random GIF of the girl that makes weird faces after taking a sip of her drink (it’s called kombucha girl, in case you were wondering).

[Related: Emojis and reaction GIFs make Slack better. Here’s how to create them.]

2. Tap on the image you like and copy it. Open the GIF by tapping on it, and then tap and hold (long tap) to open the options menu. From there, choose Copy image.

3. Paste it on Threads. Go to the Threads app, create a new thread by tapping the pen and paper icon in the middle of the bottom of the screen, and paste the image (long tap on the blank thread and choose Paste on the emerging menu). 

Add GIFs to Threads on Android

Adding GIFs to Threads from your Android device is not at all difficult, but it’s way more tedious than it is on iOS or other platforms with full GIF integration. Essentially, you’ll have to download the image and then share it on the Threads app. 

1. Go to your search engine of choice and look for your GIF, using the tips in the iOS section above. 

2. Tap on the image you like and download it. Open the GIF and long tap on the image to get more options. Choose Download image on the emerging menu. You’ll notice there’s also a Share image option, which you’ll ultimately do, but not just yet. If you share the image now, Android will paste the URL of the image on a new thread, not the GIF itself. And that’s a rookie mistake. 

3. Find your image. The easiest way to go about this is by opening up your notification drawer and tapping the Download complete item at the top of the list. If you missed it or discarded it by accident, go to your local file directory and search for it there. On Pixel phones, for example, you’ll need to open the Files app, where you should see your newly downloaded GIF in the Images folder or highlighted at the top of the app as a recent file. 

4. Share your image on Threads. Open the file and at the top of your screen and you should see the share option: it looks like a less-than symbol with circles on each end. Android will suggest your most recent contacts to share the photo with, as well as your favorite apps. If you’re new to Threads, you probably won’t see the app in there right away, so make sure to swipe up that menu to expand it and pick the app from the app drawer. Tap on the Threads icon and Android will take you to the app’s New thread screen, where the GIF will already be there waiting for you to send it into the world. 

Insert GIFs into Threads with Giphy

Instead of diving through apps every time you need the perfect GIF, you might find it easier to download a dedicated app like Giphy (available for Android and iOS) and share the images from there. The platform serves as a bottomless reservoir of GIF reactions, and if you make an account, you’ll be able to start your own collection which you can easily use at all times. 

To share GIFs from Giphy, the process is the same as with the rest of the apps we’ve seen so far: search for the image you want to add to your thread, open it, hit the share button in the top right corner of the screen, choose the Threads app, and it’ll appear as a new post ready to be shared with your friends. 

But if you have an iPhone, you can skip the app switching by integrating Giphy as a keyboard

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and tap Add keyboard.

2. Select Giphy under Third-party keyboards.

3. Back on the keyboards menu, you’ll see a list of all the keyboards the system is working with. Open Giphy and toggle the switch next to Allow full access. This will grant the app permission to work system-wide. 

Once you have the Giphy keyboard installed, you’ll be able to use it on any app on your phone, including Threads. Open a new thread and on the iOS keyboard, tap the globe icon to switch to the Giphy keyboard. If you type in more than one language on your phone, you might need to tap the icon multiple times to toggle between keyboards. On the Giphy keyboard, use the shortcuts or the built-in search tool to find the GIF you like and tap it to copy it. To insert the GIF into your thread, long tap on the blank post and select Paste

Embed GIFs on Threads using the Share feature

But you don’t have to have a file on your local storage to share it on Threads. You can find a sent GIF on WhatsApp, for example, select it (tap and hold) and then tap the Share icon in the top right corner of your screen. You’ll then be able to select Threads to post the image. 

[Realated: The best ways to make your own GIFs]

If you want to copy GIF reactions from Twitter, open the GIF in your timeline, hit the Share icon, and then choose the Share via option to open the app drawer and choose Threads.

Now it’s all a matter of choosing the right GIFs to leave your mark on this new platform.