About a year and a half ago, (yes, it’s been that long), Instagram added the GIF sticker feature to story settings—aka Instagram stickers. Taken from the GIF database GIPHYInstagram stickers are small animations you can place on your own pictures and videos. They are an easy way to add a pop of color and life to your everyday stories. There is one for just about anything you can think of, and they have become very trendy as more and more are added GIPHY’s database everyday.

While most tend to be on the goofy side, there are plenty of helpful Instagram stickers that encourage interaction like “swipe up to donate” and “new post”. Their popularity has not gone unnoticed and many brands seem to be hopping on the GIF bandwagon as a fun way to interact with users and expand their reach. In this post, we hope to shed some light on these small little GIFs, and teach you a few tips and tricks to get you started.

Instagram sticker - new post GIF
Instagram sticker - swipe up GIF

Wait-What is a GIF?

If you have been using the internet since the early 2000s or even before, you have probably seen a GIF before. But, just in case you have been living under a rock, let us explain. “GIF” stands for Graphics Interchange Format. In the simplest terms, it’s a series of images that run like a flip book creating a short animation. They’re super easy to save and to use on most, if not all, social platforms. In the case of Instagram stickers, they are much smaller than traditional GIF’s and are transparent. In other words, they have no background and look very much like, well, stickers. Many are bright and colorful and contain a short phrase or an object. For example, the phrase “Happy Birthday” and dancing ramen noodles are both usable GIF stickers.

Instagram sticker - happy birthday GIF
Instagram sticker - ramen noodle GIF

Is pronounced GIF or JIF?

Even if you don’t know what a GIF is you’ve probably heard the never-ending debate over it’s pronunciation. Is it like the peanut butter JIF, or with a hard G, or something entirely different? It’s up to you, but here’s a video from Buzzfeed discussing the debate to help you make up your mind:

How to add Instagram stickers to your Instagram story:

  1. Click on the smiley face in the square in the top right of your story settings.
  2. From the menu, click the grey box that has a GIF of the word GIF in it (clever).
  3. Search for any word or phrase in the search bar at the top.
  4. Tap the one you want and it will automatically “stick” unto your story.





If you aren’t happy with your Instagram sticker you can do several different things:

  • To change sticker size: Use two fingers. Move your fingers outwards if you want to make it bigger and inwards if you want to make it smaller.

  • To move the sticker: Hold your finger down and drag it anywhere you want it.

  • To flip the sticker: Tap it once. (Some stickers won’t let you do this.)

  • To remove the sticker: Hold it down and drag it to the small trash can that will appear at the bottom of your screen.

  • To layer two or more stickers: The most recently interacted with GIF is the one that will be on top. In other words, the newest or the GIF you just touched will be in front of the others.





See any brands you recognize?

Now that you know how to search, look up brand names like “Nike”, Starbucksor even just “Coffeeand see what comes up. A lot of these brands are already posted about on user stories, so creating their own Instagram stickers was just the next step. Some Instagram stickers are more blatant about the brand they are advertising, while others are much more subtle, and good brands have a mix of both. Kona Brewing Company, for example, has many Instagram stickers including a ukulele with a beer, and a smile made of bottle caps. The best Instagram stickers are simple and versatile so they can be applied to all types of stories. The more stories they’re on, the more awareness and impressions for the brand that created them. Not only that, but Instagram stickers help to create positive sentiment by showing off your brands fun side. 

Kona Brewing Company has brought in some big time awareness from their Instagram stickers, including the ones above. With over 176.2 million impressions on their GIPHY profile, that’s nothing to shrug at. While this article is about using the stickers on Instagram, it’s important to note that other platforms pull from GIPHY. For example, Snapchat also uses GIPHY stickers.

Want to join in on the fun?

Instagram stickers are a lot easier to make than you think, and there’s a reason there seems to be endless amounts of them. The database GIPHY, where Instagram gets their GIF stickers from, lets you make an account and join as a brand or artist. Once you are verified by them, you are free to upload your own GIFs or create them on their site. And by free, I mean totally free of all cost as well. No membership fee required! However, even if you don’t want to go through the trouble of making a GIF sticker, just adding one to your own story is a great way to stay on trend and liven up your everyday Instagram stories. 

Are you confident enough to start coloring outside the lines? Or do you need some assistance with your masterpiece? Don’t hesitate to contact us if your social media skills are more paint-by-number than Picasso. We’re here to help.