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Google+ now supports animated GIFs for profile photos

Profile photos on Google+ are about to get a lot more animated.

Members of Google's social network can now use animated GIFs as their profile photos. Google software engineer Matt Steiner announced the update on his profile page, noting that GIFs will animate on desktop and mobile devices, just "like newspapers in Harry Potter."

If you love the idea of using an animated GIF as your profile photo but have never made one before, don't fret.

As explained in the article, animated GIFs are essentially image files that load in a browser and play a small, constantly looping animation instead of showing a still image. Though animated GIFs have been around since the 1980s, they have experienced a major comeback as of late.

Google+ might be one of the last places you can have animated profile pictures. In September 2012, Twitter stopped accepting uploads of animated images, according to Buzzfeed, though existing animated avatars remained. Those who need a GIF fix on the micro-blogging site, however, can turn to its Vine app. The video app lets users create six-second clips that loop over and over, creating a very GIF-like experience.

Facebook, meanwhile, still doesn't allow GIFs to animate, likely fearing slow load times.

The update comes after Google+ launched a new filter to show only photo posts. Google+ users can access the new photo filter from a drop-down menu on search result pages. Simply type what you're looking for in the search bar, and run the query. On the resulting page, select "Photos" from the filter dropdown.