Last week news broke that YouTube is finally launching a GIF maker. Until then the online video giant had adapted slowly to worldwide demand for the upstart content type.

So what does this new feature mean for folks who want to create animated GIFs? And where does GoAnimate fit in? We’ll answer these questions below in Q&A format.

Q: So what exactly is YouTube offering?

A: It looks like Google (which owns YouTube) is slowly rolling out the feature on selected pages. And the feature is a built-in GIF maker for each video, found under the “Share” dropdown below it. Again, the button is only there right now for a couple of company portals, but here’s what it looks like beneath a video for Vsauce. There’s little doubt that every video on YouTube will soon have this feature.

GIF MakerQ: How long can these GIFs be?

A: Looks like anywhere from .1 to 6.0 seconds. And there is currently only one font available when you want to add words.

Q: What do I with the GIF after I make it on YouTube?

A: They make it pretty easy. Right there on the screen you get the embed code, which of course you can tweak to fit the desired length and width of the video for your site. You’ll also get a Direct Link to share (more videos and traffic for YouTube!).

All signs point to the ability to download and save the GIFs but we are not yet seeing that feature in the early roll outs.

Q: What does this mean for animated videos?

A: It’s good! In the past it’s been a royal pain in the neck to create an animated GIF. Of course it helps to have an animated video maker (that’s where we come in) but then you have to have the technology to grab the desired segment of the video and loop it. Sites with these capabilities are usually a bit dicey, often trying to capture and sell your email address or stuffing your browser with cookies. Enter YouTube with its relatively clean user experience and its general global legitimacy.

Q: Is YouTube trying to put GoAnimate out of business?

A: Nope. The (very big) difference here is that YouTube is not a video maker. It’s a (very big) place where videos live. GoAnimate is the opposite: a video maker, from which you can then publish your videos elsewhere, YouTube included.

Q: So how can people make the best animated GIFs?

A: Go ahead and make a short animated video on GoAnimate, and make it with the GIF in mind. You’ll have thousands of characters, actions, props, and backgrounds to choose from. If want to make character that isn’t yet in our (very big) library of assets, go into the Character Creator and make your own. Basically, you can customize your own animated GIF soup to nuts.

Next export your animated video to YouTube from GoAnimate (you’ll need a paid plan to do this) with a click of a button. Your short animated video will now have it’s own YouTube page on which you can easily create a GIF with the steps detailed above. Make it funny; people will be watching!

Want to make an animated GIF? Now you can do it on GoAnimate!