Tech

The 16 Celebrity GIFs People Used To Express Themselves In 2016

As per your keyboard.

GIFs aren’t just contained in Tumblr posts anymore. Thanks to GIF keyboards that you can download right onto your phone, you don’t have to tell someone you want to party — you can show them with a RuPaul GIF.

That can lead to some fun insights. Tenor, the company that makes the GIF keyboard for some of the world’s most popular messaging apps — iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Twitter, Google Gboard, and the Android’s Touchpal and Kika keyboards — has compiled data on how people used celebrity GIFs to express themselves in 2016.

According to the company, people search for GIFs on their keyboards 200 million times every day. Half of the company’s user base, according to CEO David McIntosh, is in North America, around a quarter is in Europe, and the remainder can be found in Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Most GIFs in Tenor’s database use emotions or emotional actions as a primary tag — “sad,” “smile,” “ewww” — so using a celebrity GIF usually has a tag that indicates the tone. You can, for instance, search “Steph Curry nervous” for a GIF of the basketball player biting his nails.

McIntosh told BuzzFeed News, “The world is voting with what they search for and share on how the world perceives these [celebrities].”

Here are the celebrities people turned to most in 2016 to express their emotions when words failed and only a GIF would do:

16. Kobe Bryant: #Smile

Tenor / Via tenor.co

This GIF is also tagged with “really,” “deal with it,” and “forreal.”

15. LeBron James: #Eww

Tenor / Via tenor.co

Gross.

14. RuPaul: #Party

Tenor / Via tenor.co

San Diego searches for this tag more than any other city every night of the week, according to Tenor.

13. Dwight Schrute: #Why

Tenor / Via tenor.co

Yeah no.

12. Justin Beiber: #ThankYou

Tenor / Via tenor.co

The Beibs’ GIF shares went down in the second half of the year after he deleted his Instagram and stopped posting as much on social media.

11. Kevin Hart: #smh

Tenor / Via tenor.co

Also tagged with “what,” “huh,” and “confused.”

10. Kanye: #idk

Tenor / Via tenor.co

Same. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

9. Drake: #Dance

Tenor / Via tenor.co

Probably what Drake had in mind when he made this video tbh.

8. Rihanna: #Wink

Tenor / Via tenor.co

This GIF doubles as an ad for Kris Jenner’s haircut.

7. President Obama: #Seriously

Tenor / Via tenor.co

This GIF was a big deal during the first three months of the year, when the president’s approval ratings were v. high, according to Tenor.

6. Oprah: #Excited

Tenor / Via tenor.co

You get a GIF! You get a GIF! And you get a GIF! Because GIFs are free.

5. Bernie Sanders: #DoNotWant

Tenor

How we feel about 2016.

4. Harry Potter: #Applause

Tenor / Via tenor.co

He lives on in our hearts and in upcoming spin-offs.

3. Hillary Clinton: #Happy

Tenor / Via tenor.co

This mashup GIF of Hillary and Shaq started trending in fall during debate season, Tenor said.

2. Beyonce: #Angry

Tenor / Via tenor.co

Following the release of Lemonade in May, shares of Beyonce GIFs doubled, according to Tenor.

1. Donald Trump: #Eyeroll

Tenor / Via tenor.co

People shared Trump GIFs nearly five times more than Hillary GIFs throughout 2016, Tenor said.

CORRECTION

People send 200,000,000 GIFs on Tenor’s keyboards each day. An earlier version of this story misstated the number.

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Blake Montgomery is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Blake Montgomery at blake.montgomery@buzzfeed.com.
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