The internet would be a very dull place without GIFs; you can type out a well worded, excellently phrased comment to an article to express how you feel, or you can say all of that and more with the right GIF. Using GIFs is something of an art, but finding the right one is nothing short of a quest. Riffsy is an iOS app that makes this considerably easier for iPhone and iPad users. It lets you find GIFs categorized appropriately, favorite them, add them to a collection, follow users who regularly create them, and view the video clip that the GIF was extracted from, to learn its context and origin. In a nutshell, Riffsy is like an educational GIF catalog, but the best part is that the link to a GIF can be copied and shared over iMessages as a completely playable animation, meaning your witty GIF replies can now be used in iMessages.
To use Riffsy, you need to create an account with the service, or use Facebook to connect with it. Once signed in, you can start following people to view the GIFs they’ve shared, in a timeline view.
To view the different categories, tap the menu button at the top-left and choose one of the categories from the navigation drawer, where there is a separate category for ‘Reactions’. You can view trending GIFS, features ones, and those related to other categories such as food, animals etc. You can also ‘Favorite’ a GIF and add it to your collection, which makes it easier to find when the need arises. To share a GIF, tap it and select the share button. The app lets you share on iMessages, email, Facebook, Twitter, or just copy the link to your clipboard and share on any service you like. GIFs are tagged according to the feeling they communicate, the movie or TV show they’ve been extracted from etc. and if you tap the space above the preview that appears when you’re about to share a GIF, you will be able to view a clip from where the GIF was created from. This feature is rather limited though; if the clip was created from a YouTube video and and is linked to it, you will be able to preview it, but many times it’s linked to Amazon instead, with the option to rent or buy the episode/movie, and you don’t get to see the video.
To view your collections, simply tap the box in the top bar and all collections will be listed. Alternatively, you can use the search bar to look for a GIF. Apart from being a very good GIF referencing tool, Riffsy plays GIFs exceptionally well – so well in fact that it seemed as if I was watching Vines and not GIFs. The app doesn’t let you create GIFs from videos though; to do that, you’ll need to visit it’s web interface.