Want an animated GIF as your profile picture on Google+? That’s possible now, as per an official announcement on the Google+ page along with instructions on how to make a GIF.
What’s Google+, you ask? Don’t be silly, Google+ is Google’s social network, and it’s way better than Facebook. How is it better? We’re still not sure, it just is. How do you get one? It’s pretty much impossible to use Google without them giving you one automatically, so just look in the upper right hand corner for a small picture of yourself. Or go sign up for a gmail account (that’s the easiest way).
Anyway, now that you have a Google+ account, you’ll want to set a profile picture. And of course you want a GIF as your profile picture, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Follow these easy steps and you’re on your way to a Google+ account that looks “like newspapers in Harry Potter,” according to Google software engineer Matt Steiner.
To create a GIF:
- Download any video you want to make a GIF from. You can download YouTube videos with KeepVid.
- Trim the source video to the 2 to 3 seconds you want the GIF to be made from.
- Open with Photoshop. File > Import > Video Frames to Layers.
- Fix it up (quality-wise) and save.
(Here’s a better instruction guide with pictures if you still need a hand).
Google+ has kind of been in the no man’s land of social media since it debuted, and really, it’s the social network that tries to be all of the other social networks. Its biggest advantage is Google infrastructure. It’s biggest disadvantage is its lack of identity.
That’s probably why they’ve been changing things up so dramatically lately. The addition of GIF profile pictures dovetails with Google’s addition of a search filter for GIFs and transparent images just last week.
Additionally, Google just this morning released a new update for iOS and Android with photo editing and filters, and a new redesign to make it look more like the desktop client.
Then, of course, there’s the semi-recent integration with YouTube, which I thought was probably the smartest move Google+ has made in a while.
What do you think, readers? Will you take advantage of a GIF profile picture on Google+? Do you think that the social network is finally finding itself?