The Tumblr GIFs Are Not Working

By Ashley Poland

Many artists use Tumblr as a creative outlet.
i Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Tumblr is the king of both the silly reaction GIFs and genuine works of animated art. Most problems with GIFs uploaded to Tumblr are due to the image; Tumblr has limitations on the file size and dimensions of animated GIFs. However, other problems include computer resources or bandwidth issues. GIFs that are displayed normally on Tumblr do not always work on other social platforms.

GIF Limitations on Tumblr

When you upload an animated GIF to Tumblr, it cannot exceed 1MB (1024KB) in size. This is an upgrade from previous limitations, where GIFs could only be 500=KB in size. In addition to that, the GIF cannot be larger than 500 pixels wide. Tumblr only supports images in RGB format; images that use other formats will not work.

Tumblr Thumbnails vs. High-Resolution

When you upload an image to Tumblr, several versions exist on the servers: a thumbnail version, a low-resolution version at 250 pixels wide, a medium-resolution one at 400 pixels wide and a high-resolution one at 500 pixels wide. For some GIFs, the file size is too large in high-resolution. The thumbnail may animate correctly, but the image is static when it is clicked and viewed at full size.

Computer Resources

If none of the GIFs on Tumblr work, it may be due to a problem with your browser or computer resources. Loading the frames of a GIF image uses up RAM and processing power. Tumblr posts often include multiple GIFs; if several GIF-heavy posts load on your Tumblr dashboard at the same time, it can tax your system resources and slow down or stop the animation of several GIF sets. This stalling also occurs on slow Internet connections.

Tumblr GIFs on Other Networks

If you want to take your favorite reaction GIF over to another platform, such as Twitter or Facebook, you are going to be disappointed: most social networks do not support animated GIFs. Even if the image does upload, it will show up as a static image of one of the image's frames. If you want to include a Tumblr GIF on one of these networks, right-click the image on Tumblr and select "Copy Image URL." Paste this link in the comment, post or tweet that you want to respond to in GIF form.