The addition of an official GIF-producing feature allows users to create short video clips without using an external website.
The production of hilarious GIFs showing cats swinging from fans, or screaming goats, is about to get a whole lot easier with this latest move from YouTube. Users who want to share a YouTube video now have the option of selecting a GIF option, which enables them to select a 6 second clip and even add text.
As it stands the feature is only available on the PBS Ideas channel, although users with Channels can use a Beta sign-up page to enable the new feature. The feature was first spotted by Twitter user Andy Baio, from Oregon.
The site says they will be contacting creators concerning the next phase of beta testing. “We are testing this new feature with a handful of creators and look forward to adding new ones soon,” it said.
It has long been possible to create GIFs from YouTube videos using sites such as GifYouTube, where you simply add ‘gif’ before a YouTube URL to create a moving image. The introduction of a well-made official GIF-maker would surely make these sites obsolete, unless they can think up some innovative features to prevent users switching to the YouTube version.
Improving the YouTube experience
YouTube has made no commitment to introducing the feature to every channel but it appears that the company is serious about rolling it out more widely. A period of beta testing will enable them to iron out any kinks using selected channels.
Google is currently testing a number of new features with a small group of YouTube users, including better comment ranking, the ability to manage comments through a moderator feature, and simpler presentation of analytics.
The GIF feature will produce a direct link to the moving image, as well as an embed code which will allow the creator to share their work, or add it to other websites