Wanted to search for that perfect GIF for a situation and didn’t know where to find it? Google has spruced up its filters to include animated GIF images as a criterion for its search.

Now besides face, clip art, line drawing and photo, you can choose to run through Google Search for a GIF image that animates itself. All of these appear under “Search tools” in Google Images. While you’re trying to search for an image, you can drop the “Any type” option down to choose “Animated”.

So the next time you wish to insert a cat GIF into your discussion on a social networking website (come on, we know you do want to!), all you need to do is search for “Kittens getting startled”, choose “Animated” and browse through hundreds of GIFs.


Choosing “Animated” from the drop down menu will give you animated kitty images

To make things easier for you, Google will allow you to see a preview of the animated images right from the drop-down view the search engine recently introduced. If the files are too heavy to load on the preview – GIF files can sometimes run into double digit MB worth of space – they will not load and you’ll have to run off to the source to view it.

This is bound to make searching for animated images easier as users had to earlier resort to long winding processes like surfing through sites like Tumblr using keywords in order to find that perfect image.

Besides including GIF, Google has made yet another handy inclusion in its search filters – transparent background. Now, if you are searching for an image for your blog or for designing purposes minus a background, all you need to do is choose “Transparent” from the “Any colour” drop down list.

Not surprisingly, Google already has a competitor in the GIF-search market with Giphy, a Betaworks product, making thousands of GIF images available to users. The service was launched about a month ago and pulled images from sites like Tumblr and Know Your Meme to build up a huge database.

Jace Cooke, one of the founders of Giphy, told The Verge after Google launched its own GIF-search service, “We obviously can't compete with Google in terms of crawling the entire web multiple times a day or layering on advanced image recognition algorithms. But we think GIFs are more than just data points. They are a medium for expression. So we're going to build Giphy into the best place to search, curate, create, remix, and share GIFs.”

Who would’ve thought a search service for a type of file could grab so many eyeballs? 

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