GIFs have come a long way. Invented back in 1987, they’ve evolved from a mid-2000s Internet oddity into everyone’s favorite photo format. At this rate, they’ll likely replace words as humans’ primary means of communication by 2027.
Until that day comes, we all face a daily problem—or hourly, depending on how deep your GIF obsession goes: where to find the best GIFs.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Here’s 9 places you can find the best GIFs on the Internet. No amateur web designs or blogs that haven’t been updated since 2006. These are the GIFs that keep on giving.
The obvious choice, and it’s easy to see why.
Founded in 2013 by Alex Chung and Jace Cooke, its mission statement is simple: “Google for GIFs.” And serving over 1 billion GIFs a day to hundreds of millions of users, it’s fair to say there’s no better place to start GIF-hunting.
But it’s not just great for searching. GIPHY integrates with all the big messaging apps, so you can easily run potential GIF choices past colleagues (or just bombard them with Kanye clips). And as if that’s not enough, it has an API too. Tech nerds rejoice!
But there’s more to finding GIFs than flicking through GIPHY, right?
Originally called “Riffsy,” the company that invented the GIF keyboard changed its name to Tenor and is now GIPHY’s biggest competitor. To be honest, they’re very similar—their search functions work exactly the same, and their layouts are almost identical.
One vital difference? The GIFs. Try it out. Type the same word into GIPHY and Tenor, then hit those search buttons. The results are surprisingly diverse.
Here’s an example:
Look at all those pugs staring at you in unison. Chilling yet effective. Now let’s move on.
Time to go off-piste! Reddit has GIFs from the deepest corners of the Internet. It’s user-moderated, it’s a mess, but it’s pure GIF gold—if you can find it. To aid your Reddit expedition, here’s a list of GIF-based subreddits.
Word of warning: you’ll probably want to avoid a couple of subreddits on that list, for obvious reasons.
One of the most popular GIF sites around from a hosting perspective. Apparently, its mission is to “bridge the gap between GIF and HTML5 video by providing both, allowing users faster delivery and more playback options.” Sounds good to me.
Its search function isn’t the best, but there are bucket-loads of categories. And as it’s a preferred hosting option, there are high-quality GIFs galore. It also honors cats in its name, so it must be legit, right?
Fed up with directories and want to get straight to the source? Imgur is a general image hosting site where anyone can upload. Similar to Reddit, there’s some real gems in there that you won’t find anywhere else. Be prepared to do some digging though.
Two small issues: it’s not a dedicated GIF site, so you’ll have to add “GIF” to your searches. And the thumbnails don’t move, which is a shame.
A bit rustic compared to the likes of GIPHY, but the “I am feeling” and “My answer is” search options are intuitive ways to sort GIFs by emotional response.
It lacks the sophistication of some of our other suggestions, but it works as a quick go-to.
I like GIFbin, but I don’t really know why. Does it offer an API, advanced search mechanisms, or a sleek design? No. So what does it have?
A shitload of GIFs.
It feels like a relic of a bygone era, taking you back to the halcyon days of MSN Messenger and Limewire. Consider it “2005 Internet-chic.” Worth checking out purely for the nostalgia trip.
Rewind 5 years in GIF history (or “GIFstory,” as I like to call it) and there’s a good chance Tumblr would be the first site on this list.
Blogs like “What Should We Call Me”, “GIFs From Last Night” and “GIF Hub Of The Universe” were well-curated, regularly updated sources of quality content. Sadly, all are now defunct, but the old posts are still there in all their GIF-y glory.
It’s possible to trawl through all of Tumblr’s GIFs in one place, but it’s a bit chaotic. Good for inspiration, but not if you need something specific.
A staple source of funny images, Imgflip has crafted a niche somewhere along the GIF-meme spectrum. It’s more a site for creating memes and than a great place to find the best GIFs, but there is a wealth of amusing stuff on there and a lot of it is in GIF format.
Oh yeah, you see that Imgflip tag in the corner there? It’s on all their content, so take that into consideration before you start flipping those imgs.
True, there’s a ton of other GIF websites around. But they’re not as user-friendly. And they lack the rugged aesthetic charm of GIFbin.
So if you can’t find the GIF you’re looking for with the suggestions above, chances are you’ll have to make it yourself.
But, as the old saying goes—take it until you make it.