Good news! YouTube finally has its own official GIF creator.
The bad news? It’s only available on a select number of channels.
Ever since YouTube first started letting people upload videos to the Internet, even more people have been turning them into animated pictures for their own amusement. Until now, though, third party sites or software have been needed to GIF-ify (it’s a word, honest) your favourite YouTube videos. Until now.
Well, as long as your favourite videos are on the PBS Ideas Channel.
YouTube says it is testing the new feature with “a handful of creators”, although the PBS Ideas Channel is currently the only place where it is available. But if you start finding a GIF tab in the “Share” section of a YouTube video, don’t be surprised.
The GIF creator – first spotted by @Waxpancake on Twitter – allows you to select up to five seconds of a video using a simple, draggable interface, displaying a preview of your end result. You can also add text at the top and/or bottom of the picture, so it’s like a proper, grown-up Internet meme.
The finished product is then available to link to on YouTube’s services, embed via iframe, or download yourself. (Naturally, clicking on an embedded GIF will take you to the original YouTube video.)
How quickly will it spread? Who knows? There is, however, a beta sign-up form here for those who want to have the feature added to their channel.
One thing is certain: this is the beginning of a bright new future.