Google has acknowledged that the right GIF can help you express sentiment that can't be adequately summed up with mere text and emojis, and has launched a tool that makes it easier to find the perfect picture for the job.
As Google data editor Simon Rogers explained in a blog post (opens in new tab), developers used insights from Tenor – a GIF platform that Google acquired in 2018 – to determine how images of celebrities are used to express emotions and actions.
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For example, when users search for 'Drake' and an emotion or action, nearly a third of those searches are for 'Drake clapping'. Meanwhile 'happy' is the emotion most commonly associated with Beyoncé.
You can find the tool made for the project embedded in Rogers' blog post (opens in new tab). To discover which emotions are commonly associated with a celebrity, use the drop-down menu in the tool below to select their name.
Clicking any of the resulting GIFs will copy them to your clipboard, so you can use them to express yourself accordingly.
Another tool, located a little further down the page, allows you to search by emotion, revealing the most commonly used GIFs for a particular feeling
Finally, if you can't quite pin down how you're feeling, there's an 'emotional fingerprint' tool featuring a spectrum from happy to sad. Picking a point along the X axis will help you find a GIF that perfectly expresses your current state of mind on a scale of Lionel Messi (75% sad) to Marilyn Monroe (99% happy).
For now you can only access these tools in your web browser, but it's possible that they might be integrated into the Tenor GIF Keyboard app (available for Android (opens in new tab) and iOS (opens in new tab)) in the future, making it easier to let the body language of Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake and Gordon Ramsay say what mere words cannot express.