How to Seamlessly Use GIFs in Signal Messaging

Signal is a popular encrypted messaging app that allows users to send messages, photos, videos, documents, voice messages, and GIFs privately. With end-to-end encryption, Signal ensures all communication remains confidential.

Using GIFs in Signal messages can help express emotions and reactions quickly and easily. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to find, select, and send GIFs seamlessly in Signal on both iOS and Android devices:

Finding the GIF Option

  • iOS – Tap on the smiley icon in the bottom left corner of a chat thread, then tap on “GIF” at the bottom to open the GIF search tool.
  • Android – Tap on the “+” icon in the top right and select “GIF” to open the GIF search tool.

Searching for GIFs

  • In the GIF search tool, type a keyword or phrase you want to convey and relevant GIF suggestions will populate.
  • Scroll through the trending, recent, and relevant categories to browse GIFs to use.
  • Tap on a GIF to preview it and ensure it’s the one you want to send.

Sending GIFs

  • Once you have selected the desired GIF, tap the arrow icon in the bottom right to send it.
  • The GIF will be delivered in the chat and animate just like any other GIF.
  • You can also tap the “+” icon on a GIF to select multiple GIFs before sending.

Additional Ways to Get GIFs

There are a couple other ways to find and send GIFs in Signal chats:

  • Use a GIF keyboard – GIF keyboards like Gboard allow you to search and send GIFs directly from your keyboard.
  • Share GIF links – Find a GIF online you want to send, copy the link, paste it into the Signal chat text box, and the GIF will render.
  • Upload GIF files – Download a GIF file on your device and upload it like a photo or video in Signal chats.

GIF Search Privacy

Signal’s integration with GIPHY for GIF search runs the queries through a proxy server to keep search terms private. This prevents the search terms themselves from being exposed.

Some additional privacy protections added include:

  • Encrypted query parameters using a hashed representation of search terms
  • Proxy servers using domain fronting to further hide metadata
  • Random padding added to search requests to prevent content size tracking

So users can comfortably search and share GIFs knowing the process is designed with privacy in mind.

Customizing How GIFs Display

There are a few settings available to customize how GIFs are handled in Signal chats:

  • Auto-download – Disable auto-download to manually load each GIF before it animates to save data.
  • GIF quality – On Android, select between high, medium, and low GIF visual quality to control data usage.

So if data limits or performance are a concern, adjust these settings accordingly to streamline the GIF experience in Signal.

Troubleshooting GIFs Issues

If GIFs ever fail to animate or load properly in Signal, here are some troubleshooting steps to try:

  • Confirm auto-download for media is enabled in Signal settings.
  • Check the file size of GIFs causing issues, as very large GIFs may fail to load.
  • Temporarily switch the GIF quality setting to low to test.
  • Force stop the Signal app and clear the cache to eliminate corrupt data.
  • Update to the latest version of Signal in case it’s a bug that has been patched.

Reaching out to Signal Support is also recommended if problems with GIFs persist after troubleshooting.

So that covers everything you need to know to seamlessly search, share, and view GIFs in one-on-one and group conversations using the Signal app!