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9 Best YouTube to GIF Converters You Should Try

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GIFs are an incredibly versatile and fun way to enhance your online content. By extracting short animated clips from YouTube videos, you can quickly create entertaining GIFs to share on social media, websites, messaging apps and more.

But converting YouTube videos into GIFs requires the right tools. In this guide, we‘ll compare the top 9 YouTube to GIF converters available and help you find the best one for your needs.

What Are GIFs and Why Use Them?

Before diving into the converters, let‘s quickly go over what exactly GIFs are and why they can be useful.

What Are GIFs?

GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format. Despite the name, GIFs are actually a bitmap image format, not a video format.

GIFs display short animated clips by cycling through a series of bitmap images called frames. Typical GIFs contain anywhere from a couple frames to a few hundred frames.

The small file size of GIFs makes them easy to share online. Most GIFs are just a few hundred kilobytes to a couple megabytes in size.

GIFs are also often looped, playing the animated clip over and over seamlessly. This allows them to capture short moments or jokes and replay them endlessly.

Benefits of Using GIFs

There are several key benefits that make GIFs a versatile media format:

  • Expressive – GIFs are a fun, expressive way to react or share a moment. The short animated clips can capture emotions and jokes better than static images.

  • Engaging – Viewers tend to find GIFs more engaging and entertaining than plain text or images. Adding GIFs to your content can help captivate your audience.

  • Shareable – The small file size makes GIFs extremely shareable on social media, messaging apps, forums and other online platforms. They spread virally.

  • Attention-grabbing – GIFs stand out in the feed. The motion draws the viewer‘s eyes towards them compared to static content.

In short, GIFs are a highly flexible and effective medium for online communication and entertainment. Let‘s look at how to make them from YouTube videos.

Why Convert YouTube Videos to GIFs?

YouTube hosts endless funny, inspiring and informative moments perfectly suited for GIFs. But YouTube does not support exporting videos as GIFs.

That‘s where YouTube to GIF converters come in. They allow you to transform your favorite YouTube clips into shareable GIFs with just a few clicks.

The key benefits of using a YouTube to GIF converter include:

  • Massive library – Tap into the vast selection of videos on YouTube to make your GIFs.

  • Fair use – Convert short clips under fair use laws for commentary, criticism, parody, etc.

  • Custom edits – Trim and edit the clip to get the perfect looped moment.

  • Creative control – Adjust frame rate, image size and other settings.

  • Quick exporting – Download the GIF instantly to share anywhere.

Next, let‘s compare some of the best converters available to find the right one for you.

1. HitPaw Video Converter

HitPaw Video Converter is a versatile media software for Windows and Mac that can convert videos into GIFs along with many other formats.

Key Features

  • Convert videos to GIF while customizing frame rate and image size
  • Extract audio into common formats like MP3
  • Built-in editing tools like trimming, filters and watermarks
  • Batch processing to convert multiple files
  • Supports 1000+ video/audio formats
  • Download online videos from 1000+ sites

Pros

  • Very fast conversion speeds
  • Intuitive and easy to use interface
  • Tons of advanced customization options
  • Additional features beyond GIF conversion

Cons

  • Requires downloading and installing desktop software
  • Must first download YouTube videos to convert

Overall, HitPaw Video Converter is a great option for power users wanting robust controls and speeds for producing high quality GIFs. The additional audio and video conversion features make it an excellent all-in-one solution.

2. Veed.io

Veed.io is an online video editor and converter that can make GIFs from YouTube without any software downloads.

Key Features

  • Browser-based converter needs no installation
  • Upload videos from device, Google Drive, etc
  • Trim and cut clips
  • Add text, stickers, overlays
  • Customize GIF speed, size, frames, etc
  • Export GIFs to device or social media

Pros

  • Easy to use web app interface
  • Good selection of editing tools
  • Handles large HD video files
  • No account signup required

Cons

  • Must first download YouTube videos before converting
  • Some advanced paid features

Veed.io strikes a nice balance between simplicity and customization options for quick online YouTube to GIF creation. Converting longer or numerous videos may require a paid subscription though.

3. UniConverter by Wondershare

UniConverter by Wondershare is a popular video converter and editor software for Windows and Mac.

Key Features

  • Convert videos to GIF along with 1000+ other formats
  • Trim, crop, rotate, watermark videos
  • Apply visual effects, filters and more
  • Customize GIF frame rate, size, optimization
  • DVD burning capabilities
  • Download online videos

Pros

  • Very fast conversion performance
  • Intuitive and polished interface
  • Powerful editing tools
  • Batch processing
  • DRM removal abilities

Cons

  • Must download and install software
  • Requires downloading YouTube videos first

UniConverter provides an excellent balance of conversion speeds, customization options and editing tools. And the ability to burn videos onto DVDs makes it great for sharing physical copies.

4. Flixier YouTube GIF Maker

The Flixier YouTube GIF Maker is an online converter tailored specifically for turning YouTube videos into GIFs.

Key Features

  • Paste YouTube link to convert
  • Trim and cut video clips
  • Customize GIF speed and size
  • Add text captions, stickers, emojis
  • No account required

Pros

  • Super easy and fast to create GIFs
  • Ability to convert from YouTube links directly
  • Good selection of editing tools

Cons

  • Maximum GIF length of 30 seconds (paid plans allow longer)

Flixier stands out for its focus on fast YouTube to GIF creation. Being able to convert directly from YouTube links makes it extremely convenient without downloads required. It‘s a great option for quickly generating short GIFs for social media.

5. Imgflip Animated GIF Maker

Imgflip‘s Animated GIF Maker is another solid online YouTube to GIF converter.

Key Features

  • Convert YouTube links or upload videos
  • Trim/cut video clips
  • Basic customization of GIF speed and size
  • No account registration needed
  • Create and save GIF templates

Pros

  • Easy to use interface
  • Good for basic GIF creation
  • No limits on GIF length
  • Template saving for repeated use

Cons

  • Lacks more advanced editing features

The Imgflip GIF maker is a nice balance of simplicity and utility for converting YouTube clips into shareable animations with minimal hassle.

6. Free GIF Maker

Free GIF Maker is a straightforward online converter for transforming YouTube links into animated GIFs.

Key Features

  • Paste YouTube link to convert
  • Trim clip and select duration
  • Basic GIF customization options
  • No account signup required

Pros

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Fast GIF creation from YouTube links
  • No limits on GIF duration

Cons

  • Very limited editing capabilities
  • No video uploading

Free GIF Maker lives up to its name by offering a simple no-frills solution for converting YouTube clips into shareable GIF animations. It‘s ideal if you need only basic trimming without extra edits.

7. MakeAGif

MakeAGif provides an online YouTube to GIF converter along with many other sources.

Key Features

  • Convert YouTube, Facebook, webcam, uploads
  • Trim and cut video clips
  • Customize GIF speed, size, frames
  • Add text, stickers, drawings
  • Create an account to save GIFs

Pros

  • Flexible video source options
  • Solid selection of editing tools
  • Can publish and share GIFs

Cons

  • Requires account creation
  • 10 second limit without account

MakeAGif makes it easy to tap into videos from various sources, edit them using handy tools, and publish engaging GIF animations. The need to create an account may be inconvenient for some though.

8. Motionbox

Motionbox provides a feature-packed online YouTube to GIF maker.

Key Features

  • Upload videos or paste YouTube links
  • Trim, cut and split clips
  • Adjust GIF speed, size, optimization
  • Add captions, fonts, stickers, filters
  • Built-in GIF library for templates
  • Create and manage projects

Pros

  • Robust set of editing tools
  • Media library for templates/assets
  • Collaborate on team projects

Cons

  • Requires making an account
  • Busy interface with learning curve

Motionbox shines for users wanting to take full advantage of animating effects and templates when converting YouTube to GIF. The suite of tools empowers advanced editing but also increases complexity.

9. GifRun

GifRun offers a simple online YouTube to GIF maker.

Key Features

  • Paste YouTube links to convert
  • Trim/cut video clips
  • Basic GIF customization options
  • No account registration

Pros

  • Easy straightforward converter
  • Up to 15 second GIFs
  • Fetch popular GIF templates

Cons

  • Lacks advanced editing features
  • No video uploading

GifRun is great for users needing only basic YouTube to GIF conversion functionality without much extra complexity. But it lacks more advanced customization and editing capabilities.

Key Things to Look for in a YouTube to GIF Converter

When evaluating YouTube to GIF converters, keep the following features in mind:

  • Video input options – Look for converters that allow both video uploading and YouTube link inputs. This provides maximum flexibility.

  • Conversion speed – Faster is better especially for handling longer videos. Desktop software converters tend to be quicker.

  • Editing tools – Trimming and basic customization are essential. Advanced features like text, stickers, filters etc. allow more creativity.

  • Supported file types – Make sure it can export GIFs along with any other formats you need like MP4.

  • Platform – Choose between downloadable desktop software vs online web app based on your preferences.

  • Pricing – Many capable basic converters are free while advanced software has paid tiers or subscriptions.

Make engaging GIFs from YouTube videos!

As you can see, there are tons of great YouTube to GIF converter options available today at various price points.

The best one for you depends on your specific needs and preferences around speed, platform, editing tools and more.

We hope this overview gives you a better understanding of the top choices to turn YouTube clips into viral animated GIFs that will make your audience smile!

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