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The GIF Turned 30, So Facebook Is Throwing It a Party

When it comes to the internet, GIFs are like that funny, reliable friend — ready to drop in at a moment's notice to throw some shade or bring the laughs.

So it's hard to believe something so ingrained in internet culture is actually 30 years old. Facebook, which as we all know has a thing for celebrating birthdays, is now paying homage to the GIF's 30th year of existence.

As of Thursday, Facebook users will be able to leave GIFs as comments. Just tap the GIF button, choose the GIF you want and post away.

Image: Facebook GIF
The GIF is turning 30. Facebook

GIFs are already a part of Facebook Messenger. The social network said 13 billion GIFs were sent last year — that's about 25,000 per minute. And use of GIFs has tripled in the past year, showing that we're relying on them now more than ever to communicate.

We've certainly come a long way from the humble beginnings of the motion graphic, which was the brainchild of Steve Wilhite, the engineering lead on the CompuServe that helped institute the file format.

There's been plenty of debate since then about how to say it. Is it a hard G — like gift — or a soft G? Facebook is also running a poll to let users decide, but Wilhite has previously set the record straight.

The answer: Jif — like the peanut butter brand.