Do Tinder Girls Want GIFs? Here's What Your Match Really Thinks Of Your Message

I don't often feel bad for guys (the patriarchy seems pretty sweet for them!), but I do occasionally get twinges of guilt whenever I open up a dating app. I know that it must be frustrating to almost always send the first message on Tinder. I know any person of any gender can initiate contact, but only 9.8 percent of men say women should send the first message, according to Tinder. Men typically reach out first. And when they do, they sometimes try to stand out by sending GIFs instead of actual words. But do Tinder girls want GIFs?

I see a lot of reasons to send a GIF. Remember when you read the Harry Potter series for the first time, and all their portraits and newspaper photos moved, and it seemed like the coolest thing ever? We're basically all living at Hogwarts now. Your choice of GIF broadcasts your sense of humor and what kind of pop culture you're into, all without you saying a word. It can be funny or sweet or sassy.

Plus, hard stats back up their use: On Tinder, people who use GIFs are 30 percent more likely to get a response, and are more likely to have conversations that last twice as long, the dating app tells Elite Daily.

But despite that, once I started asking around about GIF usage, I found something surprising — they're not necessarily a slam dunk. It's not like you send a hilarious GIF and boom, you're suddenly hooking up or in love or whatever you're using Tinder for. They require a little strategy.

Here's what women really think of those little moving pictures — and how you can make the most of them.

Some people think they're lazy conversation starters, so don't deploy one instead of a greeting.

I think that they're either shy or a bit lazy. I do the same thing sometimes when I'm too nervous to start a conversation or when I don't want to put too much effort into it.

— Riya, 18

Seriously. Hold off for a sec.

It's fine if we've been chatting for some time, but right off the bat, it's a conversation killer for me. I never know how to reply to one, unless it's incredibly relevant to what I've said. If they follow up with text after that, then I'm cool with it, but if that's all they send, then I'm not likely to respond. It seems lazy.

— Haley, 22

And don't resort to GIFs as an alternative to keeping up an actual conversation.

Honestly, it depends. If they're already cute and funny, and we have entertaining banter happening, I'm all for it. But if you're using that as a crutch and can't hold a conversation, pass.

— Maura, 27

Make sure the GIF is relevant to the convo.

I think it's lazy and not that impressive, especially if it's out of the blue and not related to anything. If it's on topic, it's funny and cute.

— Julia, 19

Use them sparingly.

If they're well-placed and appropriate, they can be really funny, but sent at the wrong moment or sent too often, and they can be childish.

— Linda, 21

It's not all bad news! Remember, people DO think they're cute!

Oh, I'm all about the GIFs. They can be fun and flirty, and it shows the person you're talking to a little humor, as well.

— Emily, 26


I think GIFs are always fun in any conversation.

— Novella, 28

Just don't be gross, please.

In general, I think GIFs are great! They show that I get your sense of humor and you get mine.
Although, I had a real gross experience with one guy on Bumble who sent me a GIF as his first response to me. It was a GIF of someone putting their finger through a grapefruit, simulating sexual nonsense. And this guy said in his bio that he was a Fulbright scholar, so... that's upsetting.
If a dude says something gross, the best GIF to use is the one of Rihanna rolling up her window... That's pure magic.

— Katherine, 25

And you know what? If you want to send one right off the bat, go for it. The right person will think it's cute.

I think they're great ways to start a conversation! Much better than a, 'Hey, what's up?' or something perverse.

— Caitlin, 28

And ladies, just in case you're curious, here's what gents really think of that hilarious GIF you're considering sending back.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!