GIFs (which stands for Graphics Interchange Format) have become a major way to communicate. Twitter announced in June of 2014 that GIFs are now supported by their social network. What are GIFs? Although they are just now starting to pick up steam, GIFs have been used on the internet for years.
Tumblr, a microblogging site popular with teens and young adults, rules the social media arena in GIF usage. Other sites like Facebook and Twitter have been playing catch-up to Tumblr, but since employing the usage of GIFs, have seen quite the success. But why are they popular all of a sudden?
People see GIFs as an easy way to respond. Twitter has a 140 character limit. Why finagle your response when it can be said in one image? The saying goes that pictures speak 1,000 words. GIFs speak volumes because they’re that line between still images and videos.
GIFs aren’t just used by teens and young adults. Major brands are joining them.
🍁 🍂 🍁🍂………………..🏃 #FallisComing #PSL pic.twitter.com/27DDokr68o
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) September 19, 2015
Look up! Check out our @Tumblr post to find out what can you see in the sky this month: http://t.co/tUbDyMvLAG pic.twitter.com/m0o9quEnVN
— NASA (@NASA) October 2, 2015
All walks of life welcome. #WalkToSchoolDay pic.twitter.com/70LnkOCfLt
— Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) October 7, 2015
GIFs have evolved into more than just flames or waving flags. They’ve become a complete art form. Even the NY Times have written about its sudden prevalence in social media by a growing number of brands, not just consumers.
Use GIFs to show off a new product, or use it to promote science, or film, or art. But be careful about your usage. Don’t just use GIFs to use them. Make sure they’re relevant to what you’re posting. Like this elephant waving goodbye. See you next time!