Google Intros Animated GIF and Transparent Filters to Image Search

March 19, 2013
By: Rachel Ramsey

GIFs, or graphic interchange formats, have been around since 1987, even though they seem to have become mainstream around the Web only recently. Websites like Tumblr blog #Whatshouldwecallme use .gifs to illustrate some of life’s most relatable moments and have become extremely popular to capture and relive moments from major events, shows, movies and other life happenings. Vimeo (News - Alert) recently acquired GIF-making application Echograph to help it challenge apps like Vine and Cinemagram.

Google announced today users can now opt for animated GIFs when doing an image search. All they have to do is click on “Search tools” below the search box and then select “Animated” under the “Any type” dropdown.

Animated GIFs have long been included in Google’s (News - Alert) image search, but users haven’t been able to search for them directly, until now. Users can preview the animations directly from the search engine results page.

Image via Google

Another new filter to image search is the option for a transparent background, which can be found under the “Any color” dropdown in an image search. The filters are supposed to be rolling out to users starting today.

These are introduced during a busy time for Google – the company announced last week it will discontinue Google Reader in July and the Web saw a temporary teaser for Google Keep, an online note taking service. Its proposed cross communication platform, Babble, unifies chat functions and organizes by conversation. A presentation on Babble is expected to be delivered during this year’s Google I/O in May.




Edited by Ashley Caputo