cats gif
Credit: Image by Antonio Roberts on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Animated GIFs have become increasingly popular on social media, and are a great way to attract attention to your work in an engaging way.

There are plenty of websites and apps that allow you to share their GIFs, but what if you want to make your own – personalised for the point you are trying to make or the story you have reported on?

Well, if you don't fancy spending the time creating GIFs manually in Photoshop, you can choose from a range of mobile apps which can simplify the process and save you time, allowing you to quickly share them to social media.

Here's a list of three free apps that will help you get started.

1. Gifboom

Devices: iOS and Android.

Gifboom allows users to take photos and videos through the app, as well as import footage from the web or your mobile's camera roll.

After creating your GIF, you can add filters, text or music – and even use the draw tool to customise it further, as well as alter the speed of the footage.

GIFs can then be shared directly onto your social media account. Your creations are stored within the app and can also be shared with other creators using Gifboom.

The app's versatility and its wide range of robust features makes it a great all-rounder for journalists on the go.

2. 5SecondsApp

Devices: iOS

As the name suggests, 5SecondsApp will let users easily create GIFs of up to five seconds in length.

By either shooting a video within the app or simply importing one from your camera roll, you can create a GIF on the go or at your desk – perfect for getting material out quickly onto social media.

Users can also add photos from their camera roll, but these cannot be taken within the app.

Those with a little more time to spare may like to take advantage of the Instagram-like filters, or even the clip-art stickers for light-hearted GIFs.

Like Gifboom, GIFs can be cropped and annotated with text, and there are a range of fonts and colours to choose from.

Users are also able to adjust the quality of GIFs if they are looking to have more control over file size.

3. Gifit

Devices: iOS

Gifit is a GIF creator in its simplest form, making it perfect for beginners.

Select your video from your camera roll, crop it down to your preferred length and the app will load your new GIF within seconds.

If you prefer, your GIF can be made up of a slideshow of pictures from your phone.

You can film within the app as well, but the tool doesn't give you a broad range of options to customise text or additional footage – basic, but suitable for a simple, yet effective GIF.

If you're using an app you think we should know about, tweet us @journalismnews or tell us in the comment section below.

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