How to Use GIF Stickers on Your Instagram Stories

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Instagram updates its app pretty often, with new features coming thick and fast. Recently we’ve seen the addition of an activity status for direct messages and support for Android’s direct share menu. Not resting on their laurels, the developers now have another new treat for everyone, in the form of new GIF stickers that can be added to your stories.

Regardless if it’s a photo or a video you’re about to post, you’ll be able to add GIF stickers courtesy of Giphy. When you open up the sticker menu you’ll now get a GIF option. Tapping that brings up a searchable list of animated GIF stickers that can be superimposed on your creation. Apparently, there are hundreds of thousands to choose from.

To get GIF stickers you’ll need to be on version 29 of the Instagram app, which you can update to via the Play Store widget. There might also be a server-side switch that needs to be flipped for your region or hardware, so don’t panic if you don’t see it yet.

From bouncing letters and twirling hearts to dancing cats and pizza in space, these animated stickers help you make any photo or video funny, interesting or creative,” Instagram announced in a blog post, noting that the feature will allow users to tap into GIPHY’s massive library of GIFs to find the exact right one that lights up a photo or video. With just a few quick finger tweaks you can make it part of the scene, as if it was always there all along. Or, if it’s more your cup of tea, you can add something that totally doesn’t belong in the scene — and collapse in giggles at the resulting masterpiece. In other words, get ready to have a ball.

The Instagram team is working on some other additions for the near future, including uploading images and videos of any size, flanked by a custom color gradient if need be.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a hidden gem within Instagram’s announcement: finally, you soon won’t have to crop a photo to make it work as a story. “In the coming weeks, we’re also rolling out the ability to upload photos and videos of any size to your story — so you never have to lose part of a photo or cut a friend out of a group video,” the post reads. “When you upload a photo or video, pinch to share it in its original dimensions, whether it’s square, portrait or landscape. Any extra room will be filled with a custom color gradient that matches what you’ve shared.” How cool is that?

We’ll walk through exactly how to use the new GIF Stickers feature on Instagram Stories. But be forewarned: once you start, oh man is it hard to stop. So make sure you’ve got some time to play around, because there’s literally no way that you won’t want to go back through your photo library and make every photo and video pop.


First, capture a photo or video in Stories.

To get there, swipe right on the main screen or tap the camera button on the upper left hand corner of your screen. Once you’ve got a photo or video prepared, tap the smiley face icon on the upper right hand corner, then click the magnifying glass that says the word “GIF.”

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You’ll immediately be taken to the trending GIFs.

To add one into your story, just tap the icon, then make it bigger, smaller, upside down, or flipped. Whatever you want, wherever you want it!

You can also search for specific GIFs from GIPHY.

Just type what you’re looking for into the search box, and voila! Everything you’ve ever dreamt of and more.

There’s no limit on what you can do, so have a blast!

Seriously, could we possibly love this any more than we do right now?

And now, for some search tips from Instagram!

Searching “Accessories” will return results for anything that can be layered over faces. Example searches in this category are sunglasses, hats, eyes, lips, ears, etc.

Searching “Effects” will return results for all stickers that can be used to add ambiance to a scene. Example searches include sparkles, fire, confetti, glitter, explosion, etc.

Searching “Peekers” will return all results for stickers that pop up and disappear. These are especially fun for adding to landscapes and in settings where they can pop up behind a screen or out from a wall.

Searching “Word Art” will return all text-based stickers. Example searches for word art are happy birthday, LOL, OMG, bye, etc.

Searching “Emoji” will return results for specialized emoji sets, which tend to be very popular.

Themes like “happy birthday” and “congratulations” have great content that helps users animate their stories to celebrate big milestones.

So who needs Snapchat when you can do so much more with Instagram now?

Vance Madrid

Freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, social media manager, events coordinator, scriptwriter, film buff, wanderlust and certified foodie. Zealous for a keyboard and new experiences, I wish to live and learn through my writing.