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How to Make Social GIFs With Canva

Get good at GIFs

I love Canva, it’s no secret. Easy graphic creation for people with no skill and no budget, lovely. But up until now, I’ve never paid for it – I didn’t really need to.

Even with the lure of a free image bank and magical image resizing to fit every kind of social template, I just didn’t feel like upgrading was quite worth it.

Well, they finally got my money. GIFs have landed, people.

What’s so great about GIFs for social media?

Number one: they’re eye-catching but they don’t demand much from your audience. So, your important bit of text you really need people to read will grab their attention and it’ll also get your message across in a quick, easy format.

Number two: we all struggle with keeping our feed looking fresh. Shaking things up a bit with some social GIFs is a very, very good idea – and with Canva, it’s no more work than slapping the text on a background, like you would have done anyway.

Number three: they’re quick and they’re cheap.

The very easiest way to create social GIFs

Last year, I tried an app called Legend. It’s limited in that you can only do it on your phone (which I, an ancient dinosaur at 28, find frustrating) and you type your words into a preset format, then choose the animation.

With Canva, on the other hand, you make your design as you usually would – images, text, whatever – then just choose GIF as your download option. There are six animation styles to choose from and that’s IT: no more to it. Canva animates every part of your design for you in your chosen style, and you can use any image size or shape you choose, not just a square like many other tools.

Canva GIF

1. Get a free month trial

The paid package (Canva for Work) lets you resize designs in Canva (useful), set up templates, access free stock images, save your brand styles and create GIFs, so you’ll need to give it a try to get this download option. After the trial, it’s $9 a month.

Canva for Work

2. Create your design

Keep it simple because Canva’s still only testing its GIF format so anything with too many layers may turn out a bit weird. If you’ve not used Canva before, check out my guide here.

Making a Canva GIF
That’s just a background, a shape and a text box.

3. Download as a GIF

Go to Download, then choose the file option Animated GIF/Movie.

Downloading a GIF from Canva

4. Choose your animation style

Right now, there are only six but that’s enough to get a feel for whether this will be worth it for you – have a muck about with them. You can save your animation as a GIF or as a movie (you’ll need this option for social platforms that don’t play GIFs).

Canva animations

Canva animation

Pro tip: if your GIF preview displays your content wierdly, try going back and moving your layers around so text is at the front.

It’s soooo easy and quick – social GIFs are my new favourite trick to make people think I’m good at content planning!