Instagram Tips

How to Make a Custom GIF to Use on Instagram - An Easy Guide

Custom GIFs can improve engagement from your audience, bring in new followers, and teach people about your brand. Check out the video below to learn how easy it is to make a gif to post on your Instagram stories.

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Original Video: Youtube



Have you ever wondered how brands and creators create fun Instagram Stories GIFs like these?

Well, in this video, I'll be showing you exactly how to do it, all with just a few free websites and your phone camera.

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Step #1: Pick Your Poses

So, if you're turning yourself into a GIF to use on Instagram Stories, the first thing you'll want to think about is what poses you'll want to capture and turn into a GIF.

For example, if you're often directing people to your website, you might want to do a swipe-up motion with your hands, or maybe something just for fun, like rolling your eyes. 

Once you settle on a pose you'd like to start with, get your camera set up to film. Now, you can keep this simple and low-budget by filming with your phone on a tripod, or you can use a professional video camera if you want something with a little bit higher quality. And when you're recording yourself making the motions, you'll want to have a plain wall behind you. That will make it much easier to remove the background later on. 

For this tutorial, I chose to film with my phone and recorded myself making the swipe-up motion. Keep in mind, you'll only need a couple of seconds of a clip to create your GIF, so this should be super quick.

Step #2: Create your GIF on

Now that we've got a short clip ready to go, let's turn it into a GIF. Head to This is a free tool, but you can upgrade to a paid plan to remove the watermark and create your GIFs in higher resolutions. 

From the homepage, tap “Upload Clip”, choose the video clip you just recorded, and then give it a minute or two to work its magic. And voila, no background. Tap the down arrow symbol to select GIF and it will download it to your computer.

Step #3: Upload your GIF on

Then we go to the Mothership of GIFs:

And one quick note: you'll want to make sure you have a Business Account set up because you do have to be approved before you can start uploading GIFs.

This is our official Later Giphy account we've created to add to our stories. If you ever want to use them, you can search "latermedia" as one word and they will pop up. 

Instagram GIFs are actually powered by Giphy. So if you add your GIF to this library, you'll be able to search it in Instagram stories to find it.

Uploading GIFs to Giphy

Here's how you upload a GIF to Giphy. At the top of the page, you'll tap "Upload" and under GIF, you'll tap "Choose a File" to search for your latest clip to upload, and there you go: you're a GIF now! Well, I am, but you get the idea.

Step #4: Optimize your GIF on Giphy

You'll also want to fill out the info on the right-hand side. This part is for making your GIF more easily searchable. 

For the source URL, you'll most likely want to enter your website URL. And then for tags, type in common search terms related to your GIF. For this clip, I'll use tags like "Swipe-Up", maybe even "Swipe-up Person"; anything you think people will be searching for so they can easily find your GIF. 

We also recommend adding your brand name under all the GIFs you upload, so you can easily search all your GIFs in one go.

Then select a rating, which is probably G for most people. 

Then choose whether you want your GIF to be public or not. If you want other people to be able to find and use your GIF, then you'll want to select "Public". 

Once that's all filled out and you're happy with it, hit "Upload" and that's it. Pretty easy, right?

Step #5: Find your GIF on Instagram Stories

It usually takes a few hours for your Giphy to upload to the system and become searchable, so be patient. Take your dog out for a walk, put some cucumbers on your eyes, take a nap, you know, whatever feels right. Then, check back later in the day to officially use it. 

Once it's uploaded, you'll be able to open Instagram and find your GIF. See, it's right there when I search Later Media and if you want to level up the design of your Instagram Stories, we've got some gorgeous templates we created in partnership with Storyluxe that are totally free. We'll link them in the description below, as well as a few blogs to help you increase your engagement and views across your Stories.

If you enjoyed this video, don't forget to hit "Like" and "Subscribe". Thanks so much for watching, and let us know what tutorial you want to see next in the comments below. See you later.

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