These GIFs Will Make Your Instagram Birthday Shout Outs So Much Better

by Alexandra Svokos
Urs Siedentop & Co / Stocksy

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, Instagram started rolling out a super necessary feature. Now (or, well, when the update hits your phone), you'll be able to add GIFs as stickers to your Instagram Stories. I know, it's really exciting. Soon, you'll be able to put your favorite GIFs alongside your own personal IGs. The best part about this news is definitely what GIFs are available for Instagram stories, because there are just so many,

The GIFs will be coming in thanks to Giphy, who is the patron saint of all things GIF-tastic. Seriously, almost any GIF you think of can be found on Giphy with just some quick, common sense searches. Giphy is also what's used when you search for a reaction GIF on Facebook and Twitter, so if you're a regular GIF-user on those platforms, you'll know what's available for you on IG. On Giphy, you can search things like movie titles, character names, or a reaction verb (i.e. "eyebrow raise") to find the GIF that suits your need. It's pretty fun.

Meanwhile, Instagram is making it extra easy — and extra fun — to find the right animation for your particular needs. You'll be able to add the GIF stickers through a variety of cool searches functions.

If you're looking for a GIF sticker that can go over someone's face (so like, silly glasses or big eyes), search the term "accessories." If you're looking for something to go over a full scene — like fireworks — search for "effects." There are also some GIF stickers that pop up and then disappear in your Story (I cannot wait to use this one in particular). For those, search the term "peekers."

And if you want even more inspiration about the types of things you can do to your Instagram Stories, know that you'll also be able to add specific sorts of emoji set. To do that, search for "emoji" (you probably could have guessed that term). And Word Art (remember that from all your middle school PowerPoint presentations?) will be available, if you search for... well... "Word Art." With that, your "happy birthday" posts will be so much more special.

The new GIF sticker option is just beginning to roll out at 11 a.m. ET on Jan. 23. But if you're on the app and don't see the option yet, don't freak out. It's a roll out, which means that it will take some time to get to everyone's phone. If it's been hours and you're still not seeing the option, you can try restarting the app and then taking a look. When the GIF sticker feature does get to your Instagram app, it'll show up automatically, so you don't have to do anything special to enable it. Then, you'll be able to add a whole host of GIFs to your Instagram stories.

There are so many options of what you can do with GIFs on your Instagram stories. You can add your friend's favorite Pretty Little Liars gal to a birthday post, make something pop out of a chalkboard when you're bored in class (whoops), or just go ahead and add the desired reaction to your super subtle thirst trap...

Yeah for real, just go ahead and have fun with this new GIF feature for Instagram stories. That's what it should be all about anyways, just messing around, getting creative, and enjoying it. (I know, I know, I know, Instagram is serious business or whatever — but maybe this update will encourage you to make it a little sillier.) I'm definitely excited to see what my friends come up with using GIFs, and I can't wait to use it myself.