As Telecast was winding down, the engineers and I decided to work on a side project. We'd been using animated GIFs in our products, as were our friends at Giphy, and almost every other company in the Betaworks office. But GIF creation is a cumbersome process. Most of the existing tools are inefficient, imprecise, and not geared toward casual usage. Perusing GIF tutorials on the web, Photoshop seems to be the standard recommended application. Photoshop, really?!

So we set out to build Homeslice, a GIF creation tool that strips away the technical complexity. Further, since the casual creator is going to want to use existing web video content and not their own original videos, we designed Homeslice to function as a YouTube (or Vimeo) plug-in of sorts (it's actually a Chrome browser extension.) So people never have to deal with importing video files.


There's not much to see in the screenshot, and that's the point. Most of the features and controls of existing GIF-creation tools aren't conceptually accessible. Most people know anything about dithering, frame delay, or lossy compression. Nor should they have to. All they really care about is choosing a slice of a video, so that's what Homeslice focuses on.

Because our officemates were using Homeslice so much, and wanted to customize it for some of their partners, we made the code open source.

Install the extension from the Chrome Store to start GIFing in seconds.