What are GIPHY Clips and Why They Matter

by Federica Rustico

12 min read
Last Updated: January 05, 2023

Drop everything you’re doing and think about how sound, photography and videos have changed our lives in the past 100 years. Think about it for a sec––put yourself in your grandparents’ shoes and try to imagine how they must’ve felt when they saw their first silent movie. It might not sound like it today, but that was some serious ground-breaking stuff at the time!

How strange does it even feel imagining watching a film with no sound? I mean, how could a movie be without sound? It’s like a picture with no colors (oops, that happened too)! So imagine how our grandparents must’ve felt when they saw their first movie with sound? It probably blew their minds, right? But while inventions took decades back in the day, in today’s digital world they’re happening in real-time. 

What are GIPHY Clips and why they matter

Everyday something new pops up, so it’s kind of hard to keep up with all of the new products and services available for consumers. Let’s face it, we’re so used to change that we often don’t even realize the value behind new innovative products. And don’t even get me started on all the new tools available for us marketers out there (I’m getting a brain freeze just thinking about it). That’s exactly why I want to point your attention to something that is worth your while as marketers: GIPHY Clips. Just like our grandparents were swept off their feet when they saw their first film with sound, you should be bedazzled by the fact that GIFs are no longer just animated images….they’re now also animated images with sound! Meaning they are more like short videos, or clips! In case you’re failing to see how important this new form of GIFs are, let me tell you what GIPHY Clips means for the future of GIFs. 

What are GIPHY Clips?

In case you’re new to the whole GIFs marketing world, allow me to explain what they are. Put it plainly, GIFs are an image format, like jpegs or pngs, with an extra feature: they are animated. If you open a .gif file, essentially you will see that it’s a sequence of images featuring slight changes from one another. The .gif format allows the sequential images to play on loop, creating GIFs. You can imagine how the world greeted GIFs––they went crazy for them. So much so that GIPHY, the top GIF Search Engine, is the second biggest search engine after Google for search results (mic drop)! Slowly but surely GIPHY has been serving over 10 billion bits of content on a daily basis on messaging apps like Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. And with GIPHY’s API, allowing their enormous collection of GIFs to be integrated pretty much anywhere, there’s no stopping them from conquering the world. In fact, in 2019, they decided to take another step into the future with GIPHY Clips: or simply GIFs with sound. 

With GIPHY Clips, they gave the world real-time, culturally significant short-form videos with sound to the world! Their objective? To allow people to quickly share short-form videos with their peers on messaging apps and social media. Because let’s be honest, sound adds so much more to any experience. The web’s reaction was kind of like our grandparents’ when they saw the first movie with sound – there was no going back. 

Why do people use GIPHY Clips and where to find them?

Forget about having to go over a whole video to find the exact moment you’re searching for. GIPHY makes finding short form Clips and sharing them easy peasy. You’ll be able to find the exact moment you were searching for by typing in the keyword, and share them in high quality, directly from the official source! No more unverified channels, on GIPHY Clips you find the most popular names from the entertainment to news industries, from the sports to media industries, allowing you to easily share their most viral moments. You can share a Clips on Twitter, iMessage, Slack and even include it as a keyboard on your phone. They can be shared anywhere on the Internet with a simple link. 

What are GIPHY Clips and why they matter

But where can you find them? Clips can be found on GIPHY's website or mobile apps. You will find that the homepage has a huge section dedicated to Clips. Whenever you type in a query on the search box and hit enter, you’ll find that there’s a featured Clips section right at the top, whereas below you’ll find GIFs and Stickers. This is a great opportunity for marketers to stand out, especially since the feature isn’t available for everyone. 

How to create a GIPHY Clip?

We already discussed how to create a GIF and how to upload it to GIPHY. Creating a Clip for GIPHY is pretty much the same concept, so stick to the point, just because you have sound doesn’t mean the GIF should be longer, otherwise I’d watch a movie on Netflix! Just like GIPHY suggests: “focus on creating short, shareable, trending moments, actions or highlights that people would want to send to each other”. Because at the end of the day, they are meant to be shared by users to animate conversations and make them funnier.  

But tread carefully––just because you can add sound doesn't mean you always should. For instance, background music on its own is strongly discouraged as it adds nothing to the experience. Always make sure the audio you include in your GIPHY Clip is relevant to your video and that it adds value. Otherwise ditch it. 

When creating your Clip, always remember that time is essential. In fact, Clips can last a maximum of 30 seconds but you should aim at keeping them shorter because, well… attention spans. Unlike regular GIFs, the file type needs to be either an mp4, a mov or a webm, and it cannot exceed 100MB in file size. Before uploading your video, make sure the aspect ratio is between 9:16 minimum and 16:9 maximum and that you remove any call to actions from the Clip. Check out the official GIPHY Clips Best Practices to avoid wasting your time. 

How to upload a GIPHY Clip?

Back in 2019 when GIPHY announced the launch of GIPHY Clips (at the time dubbed GIPHY Videos), only select partners were allowed to upload videos in the new format. Some of those included record labels like Geffen Records, micro networks like BBC America’s Wonderstruck, and entertainment companies like Universal Pictures, among others. 

“Giphy provides a very cool, organic way to get our movies into the cultural conversation,” said Justin Pertschuk, senior VP of digital marketing at Universal Pictures. “Given the success we have had so far with silent, short clips there is a good chance this will work really well when you go slightly longer and add audio into the medium.”

But fear not, because the feature is now available to all upgraded brand channels. Why only upgraded channels? Because GIPHY gives value to the fact that official sources should release the Clips, and not unverified profiles that want to steal sound or music from artists and official companies. Content marketers can now leverage GIFs with sound to reach the over 700 million daily active users GIPHY has.   

The process of uploading a Clip is pretty straightforward: log into your upgraded brand channel, head to the “upload” section, drag your files under “Clip”, insert a Clip title (max 50 characters) and description (max 200 characters). Afterwards, tag your Clip with all the keywords you want your Clip to rank for. Here are some content tagging guidelines to bear in mind:

What are GIPHY Clips and why they matter

Lastly, do not forget that Clips are supposed to be for everyone. Meaning that if you want your Clips to show up to a large number of peeps, you have to keep in mind that the rating is important. In other words, avoid including sexual content, disrespectful content or any violence. You should aim for a PG rating to achieve maximum reach. Once all this is ready, it’s time to hit the “upload” button. 

What is the best type of content for Clips?

As with regular GIFs, you have to think about the instance in which a user would share your Clip. GIPHY Clips are essentially GIFs + sound, so the sound part needs to be important or there’s no reason you shouldn’t just upload a regular GIF. Let me give you a few Clip suggestions on the most effective subjects that are bound to get shared on social and messaging apps:

How will GIFs evolve?

So what is the difference between GIFs and Clips? The main differences between these two GIPHY formats are the possibility to include audio within Clips and the duration of each format  –– GIFs can be a maximum of 15 seconds while Clips can be up to 30 seconds. Clips are also limited to upgraded brand channels, so they will probably be used by entertainment and media companies and not as much by regular brands. We are curious to see how CPG brands that have been using GIF marketing will incorporate Clips into their strategies. 

But what happens to the term “GIF”? Instead of just representing animated images it will go on to include “short-form video” too. Just like Clips are mp4 files, we may even see the original .gif file thrown into the dustbin to be replaced by mp4. In the end, the end users don’t care about the file type, all they want is a high quality file format with a small file size that is easy to share and fast to render. 

What are GIPHY Clips and why they matter

So will it end up like “video killed the radio star” or will GIFs and Clips co-exist? We think both formats will be available for consumers to share and for creators and brands to create and upload. Especially since creating GIFs is pretty accessible while uploading Clips requires brands and artists to meet specific requisites. The increased use of GIPHY Clips won’t change the fact that users will continue consuming and sharing regular GIFs. But, over time, we may see a change in consumer behavior related to GIPHY.com. Just like users regularly check out their Instagram and Twitter accounts for Stories, pictures and tweets, users may start visiting the GIPHY website or app to check out trending GIFs and Clips related to news and culture. 

The question is: will GIPHY make GIPHY Clips available for users to upload user-generated content? Meaning, will normal users –– not brands, partners or artists –– have the opportunity to upload their own GIFs with sound? Apparently, GIPHY CEO Alex Chung’s plan, for the moment, is to keep the spotlight on premium, brand-safe and licensed content. He said: “there is really no professional short-form content site”. But with content creators being the hottest thing on the block in 2022, will the company eventually take this into consideration? 

GIPHY Clips’ integration with TikTok

As things evolve, there are so many questions popping up in our minds. But, after closely watching GIPHY build and grow its distribution network for GIFs, what we can say is that it is now Clips’ turn to build and grow its online video product. How? By creating partnerships with social media and messaging apps and increasing its shareability through seamless integrations that allow users to tap into GIPHY’s Clips. 

In fact, just in March 2022, GIPHY announced a one-of-a-kind integration with TikTok. If you are a TikToker, chances are you are all over TikTok’s latest feature, Library – a tool that allows users to create engaging videos and integrate clips from their favorite TV series, trailers, music videos and movies to make the content more engaging. But did you know this tool is available thanks to the integration by GIPHY Clips within TikTok Library? 

What are GIPHY Clips and why they matter

GIPHY was the first partner to integrate with TikTok’s Library feature. This announcement turns out to be a fantastic marketing opportunity for verified companies to increase their brand awareness, not only to leverage the millions of users on GIPHY, but also to tap into the millions of users on TikTok. The upgraded brand channels have an opportunity to create shareable short-form videos. Among the verified partners and artists whose Clips are featured within the TikTok Library you’ll find HBO, Xbox, ABC, Roku and Hulu. Imagine a content creator talking about a specific topic, giving out jaw-dropping information and right after a funny 5 second Clip with a famous person saying “No way” pops up. It adds a completely different experience to the end-user consuming the content. It’s UGC mixed with pop-culture references. But it doesn’t stop at Clips, regular GIFs are also accessible from TikTok’s Library. We’re very curious to see how this will evolve. 


In conclusion, what we can say is that if you have not started implementing any form of GIF marketing to your brand, it’s time you do so. GIF marketing is here to stay, and integrations within platforms like TikTok are just the proof of that. Maybe the .gif format will be replaced by .mp4 for faster rendering times, maybe it won’t. It will be quite interesting to see if GIPHY Clips will be accessible not only by upgraded brand channels but by normal users too –– creating a new wave of user-generated content –– or whether Chung’s brand-safe and licensed content strategy is here to stay. We recommend you do not wait around to find out when it’s too late. There are still growth opportunities in the GIF marketing world and not leveraging your content and making it available for use by millions of users through social media and messaging apps is a big mistake. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are GIPHY Clips?

They're just GIFs with sound. To make video clips that people will want to send to each other, producers should zero in on short, trending moments, actions, or highlights and cut out the fluff. The goal of GIPHY Clips is to initiate debates and spread ideas.

How do you get GIFs on TikTok?

To get GIFs on TikTok, start by downloading the GIPHY app and creating an account. Then, upload the GIFs you want to use and select the “share to TikTok” option. This will generate a link which can be used to add the GIFs to your TikTok videos. Additionally, you can also search for GIFs directly from the TikTok app.