Skip to main content

Google now lets users filter image searches by GIF

Google is finally catching up to the GIF frenzy, expanding its image search tools to include a section for the animated clips.

All of your grumpy cat meme needs will now be satisfied with the addition of the "Animated" option to Google Image Search. To use it, select "Search tools" and the "Any type" dropdown menu.

The web giant added a second filter that allows users to search specifically for clipart with transparent backgrounds (select "Transparent" under the "Any color" dropdown box).

Don't go running to Google to immediately get your Ryan Gosling GIF fix, though. The features will roll out slowly to users over the next day or two.

The GIF has been around long before Jennifer Lawrence became the queen of infinite looped videos. According to the Google+ announcement, the animated clips date back to 1879, when Eadweard Muybridge built the zoopraxiscope — an early device for displaying motion pictures.

But it lives on today, infiltrating Tumblr and Facebook feeds, and even branching out to mobile owners. Echograph, the iOS-accessible GIF-making app that lets users turn videos into short recurring animations, was acquired last month by video-sharing site Vimeo, which agreed to offer the GIF app for free in the iTunes App Store.

Additionally, Twitter launched its standalone iOS app Vine early this year, turning users into six-second filmmakers.

The word "GIF" even caught the attention of academics as it was named Oxford's US Word of the Year in 2012, beating out contenders like "superstorm" and "YOLO" (short for "you only live once").