These GIF-like Snapchat Features Will Help You Make It Through GIF-less Times

by Collette Reitz

If you find yourself using Snapchat more often than not (especially during these still-frigid spring days), you've probably noticed that there is so much more you can do with your Snaps beyond simply trying all the Lenses. Turning yourself into a puppy or donning a butterfly halo is reason enough to have the app on your phone, but the ability to take your Snaps to the next level with features like Animated Stickers and Bitmojis is what keeps you glued to the app throughout the day (yeah, you're not the only one). Recently, though, one of Snapchatters' favorite features was removed from the app. Never fear, you can keep your Snaps and Stories as cool as ever when you use these five GIF alternatives for Snapchat.

As you may or may not know, GIFs have been taken off Snapchat until further notice. Personally, GIFs are my favorite form of phone communication, so I definitely poured one out for all the Ryan Gosling "Hey Girl" faces that would never grace my Snaps again (unless they come back — let's cross our fingers). After I responded to the GIF news in a totally normal and not at all overly dramatic fashion, I realized it was time to move on.

Thankfully, Snapchat is here to help everyone keep on keeping on in a GIF-less Snapchat world. In an email from Snapchat to Elite Daily, the company offered these totally comparable features that might even make you forget your current longing for GIFs.

3-D Friendmojis

When using the Chat feature, 3-D Friendmojis allow you to hang out with your bestie (via their own Bitmoji) even if you're miles away from one another. If you're not familiar with them, Bitmojis are 3-D animated characters that share your likeness, and you can utilize the Snapchat Augmented Reality (AR) World Lenses to have your Bitmoji do things in your Snaps like yoga or skateboarding. According to Snapchat, this 3-D Friendmoji World Lens lets your own Bitmoji interact with your friend's Bitmoji in one AR experience.

After you choose an animated scene from the Lens carousel while using the rear-facing camera, you can customize the animation by moving or scaling it within your Snap. You'll need to make sure that you've created and connected your Bitmoji to Snapchat in order to use the 3-D Friendmoji Lenses, but as long as your Bitmoji is ready to go, you can have a virtual Friendmoji coffee date in Snapchat (I don't think GIFs were ever able to let you do that).

Animated Stickers and Animated Filters
Snapchat/Screenshot by Collette Reitz

Animated Stickers should definitely fulfill your need to add moving images to your Snaps. I completely understand that sometimes a static Sticker (cute as it may be) simply cannot capture everything you want to express in your Snap. That's when you can add the sparkling hearts or twinkling sparkle clusters to your Snap Story.

If you really want to surround your Snaps with movement, swipe right or left after taking a photo or video Snap to access the coolest Animated Filters that Snapchat has to offer. Currently, I'm able to frame my Snaps with pink glowing hearts, and I think my Story is so much better for it. Plus, if you want a colored Filter and an Animated Filter, all you have to do is place a Filter on your Snap and then hold it in place on your Snap with one hand as your swipe left or right with the other hand to add the second Filter.

Once you discover how the Animated Stickers and Animated Filters totally transform your Snaps, you'll be saying, "GIF who?"

Custom Stickers

If anyone has ever told you, "You have a face made for GIFs" (I think that's a compliment), then now is the time to get your GIF (er, Custom Sticker) career started. When it comes to Custom Stickers, you can pretty much make your very own creation out of any Snap you take.

All you have to do is capture an image in a Snap and decide what object (or person) in the image you want to turn into a Sticker. You can choose anything from flowers that are finally blooming to your morning cereal bowl. Once you've decided on your Sticker, tap the Scissors icon, trace the chosen object (or flawless face) with your finger, lift up your finger when you're done, and your Custom Sticker will be saved and found in the Stickers icon.

Pro tip: To access your Custom Stickers, click on the Scissors icon once you're in the Stickers feature, and then all of your Custom Stickers will be ready and waiting to totally up your Snap Story game.

Video Notes

If you haven't used the Video Note feature before, it looks like something that will definitely make its way into your regular Snapchat rotation. You can basically create a GIF starring yourself (yes, please). To access Video Notes, go to your Chat and press and hold the video camera icon. Then, get your homemade GIF on and release the button once you're done.

If you're not feeling camera-ready, then you can use the Voice Notes feature instead. To create a Voice Note, press the phone icon instead of the video camera, and then pull out those fake voices you perfected during your middle school prank phone call days (sorry, mom) to send the perfect throwback Voice Note to your BFF.

Bitmoji Stickers

Bitmoji Stickers are definitely great GIF alternatives, and there are so many options to choose from. As long as you've created your custom Bitmoji and connected it to Snapchat, then you can add all the Bitmoji flare to your snaps that your heart desires.

Since there are so many options, Snapchat shares that you can speed up the process by searching a word or emotion once you're in the Stickers feature. For example, you can search "food" and express your immense "hanger" with a fitting Bitmoji Sticker when it's still 30 minutes until your lunch break.

You can also quickly access your Bitmoji Stickers in the Stickers feature when you click on the first winking smiley face icon that just to the right of the scissors icon. Believe me, once you discover how much fun you have with Bitmoji Stickers, you will definitely be grateful for these helpful shortcuts.

While I can definitely relate to being bummed about a GIF-less Snapchat existence, it's important to remember that Snapchat has so much more to offer. And with all the cool ways you can use your Bitmoji in your Snaps, it's the perfect opportunity to give your own Bitmoji character a little makeover.

So, now that you've had the time to grieve the (hopefully temporary) loss of GIFs from Snapchat, you can continue keeping your Snap Stories trendy AF with these totally awesome Snapchat features. Happy Snapping!