Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) – the joy of Internet since 1987 has finally worked its way into our Twitter accounts, or has it? In reality what Twitter introduced was mp4’s with embedded HTML5 video tags. Now, most of us don’t really know what that means, but what you need to gather from that info is that these new moving images won’t slow down your feed or take long to load!
Most people are jumping with joy. I mean, this was a long time coming! Pinterest, Google +, and the greatest of them all Tumblr, have been supporting GIF’s a for a while now. After the success that Tumblr has gained thanks to GIF, it was bound to spread to other social media platforms.
If you still don’t know what you could possibly do with a GIF in your Twitter feed, think of this – 140 characters can’t possibly describe the happiness you feel because your new landing page has been a great success? Well, find a GIF that describes how you feel:
See? Wasn’t that easy and fun?
The big announcement
Twitter did what they do best, and sent out a tweet letting everyone know of the good news.
But wait! They didn’t stop there! Twitter took the liberty of creating a snazzy video message to go along with their tweet. Why did I say video message instead of GIF? Well, because when you upload a GIF it will be converted into an mp4 that will be easier for your newsfeed to handle.
GIF vs. mp4 HTML5
When you think of a GIF you think of those choppy, crappy images that last for a millisecond. Don’t get me wrong, even the choppy images can be entertaining, but you have to take into consideration the fact that this is 30 year old technology that you’re looking at.
Timing and innovation. This is precisely why Twitter has chosen to go with newer technology. Think of the possibilities of a 100 kb mp4 with rich colors and can be stopped. Now you kind of forget about the fact that a 500 kb washed out GIF ever existed. Of course, we can’t simply get rid of GIFs right away, but nevertheless, with this new technology we might as well be moving in that direction.
The only thing that isn’t great about this new way of GIFing, is the fact that not all browsers are keen to make them work. Flash, not flash, Safari, Chrome, all these are a factor in how and if you see Twitter GIF’s.
Twitter GIFs and marketing
Now that we know what we’re talking about, it’s time to figure out what we can do with this new gem in our marketing campaigns. There are four things that GIF’s can do:
- They will help your tweet stand out in the big buzz that is going on in the tweet deck
- They trigger emotions in us, remember that favorite Full House moment that put a smile on your face? Well, here’s a GIF of that moment, now don’t you want to click on our website?
- They’re easy to comprehend. Sometimes it’s easier to understand a short moving video than a 140 character long slogan.
- They give you a tiny window to free advertising. Vine and Instagram have allowed big brands to make short videos that help sell their products. Now Twitter is just another step in the 5 second free advertising direction.
Brands that have welcomed GIF’s
— Mountain Dew® (@mtn_dew) June 18, 2014
— Twitter for News (@TwitterForNews) June 18, 2014
— General Electric (@generalelectric) June 18, 2014
The joy was heard in all the realms of the Internet! You too can become a Twitter GIFer, all you need is a quick quote and a moving image to match what you want to tell. Maybe a funny face made by someone in everyone’s favorite TV show, maybe a puppy falling asleep? The possibilities are endless.
So GIF on and enjoy another great moving social platform!