[April Fools] Comments Now Comes with Animated GIF, Powered by GIPHY

Happy April Fools' Day

Alright. It's actually an April Fools' Day prank. See further announcement here. All GIFs will be gone by 5PM.

Updated 5PM: That's all folks!

Feature Announcement

To improve communication between our members and overall website usability, OzBargain has introduced GIPHY integration. Animated GIFs will be automatically added to your comments! Just join the discussions to find out more how it works!

The Story

Communication on the Internet has always been onerous and often we cannot find words to describe how we really feel (like my current experience trying to write up this announcement).

Brain Useless Empty

Sometimes you tried to provide an analysis with every point covered and all the details lined up in orderly fashion — only to have your long essay disregarded by other members, who loudly protested demanding a tl;dr. Incorrectly communicated ideas due to inappropriate choice of words can also cause confusions and perplexities, which sometimes might lead to full on flame wars. Indeed we need a modern tool to help us to express ourselves better online, to improve discussions, to communicate ideas, yada yada. It turns out that the solution has already been invented 20 years ago at the dawn of world wide web — Animated GIFs.

Homer Simpson

They said that a picture is worth a thousand words. An animated GIF with 20 frames must worth at least 50 times that! By adding an animated GIF at the end of your comments it would instantly enrich the ideas you are trying to persuade, which should hopefully resolve all the communication issues we have here.

However, with so many animated GIFs floating on the interweb today, how do we pick the right one to be added to your comments? That’s where GIPHY comes to the picture. They are a startup founded in 2013 and has recently closed a USD $55 million series C funding round. Yes apparently they are the “Google of GIFs” according to this TechCrunch article so they must be good! They provide an API to match up keywords with appropriate animated GIFs, and that is what we use to integrate with OzBargain’s commenting system.



At this stage, an animated GIF will be appended to the bottom of your comment if

  • It’s on 1st or 2nd level of the thread, i.e. replies to OP, or replies to replies to OP.
  • It contains enough keywords to be used to search GIPHY, or contains command /gif <keywords> at the last line of the comment.

Do note that only the first two words will be used to query GIPHY, and in the case where your choice of words becoming too sophisticated, GIPHY might not return any result. Also querying GIPHY is done in a background thread so you will not see your animated GIF straight away. Refreshing the page a few seconds later and it should be there. It's an engineering issue which we will resolve in our next update.

For example by adding /gif scotty at the end of a comment might add this to your comment

Scotty Engineering

Final Remark

Integrating with the comments is just a start. We shall hopefully have animated GIFs populating your deals and your private messages later this month. The age of animated GIFs is indeed upon us (again), so stay tuned! Let me put an "Under Construction" animated GIF here first to indicate that it’s still a work in progress.

Under Construction


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