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Communicating With GIFs

04gif-web1-articleLargeGIF’s are quickly becoming a popular way for young people to communicate on mobile. .gif files, pronounced “jif,” are animated, soundless images that endlessly loop and allow users to communicate specific emotions that would otherwise go unexpressed. Seen as an edgy and witty way to express yourself, GIFs are quickly becoming the new native language of the digital world. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to keep up with the next big thing in digital media:

  • Origin: They were created in 1987 by a programmer at Compusoft. Though omnipresent on desktops, their use has only recently invaded mobile devices.
  • Why They’re Used: GIFs are step up from emojis. They’re used to express feelings that a simple emoticon can’t, and millennials are loving it.
  • Who’s Making Money From It? Nobody is really making money from them quite yet, but companies are quickly seeing the value in this format. Companies like Buzzfeed uses them as a storytelling method, and Google recently responded to a question using a GIF in a press interview.
  • Where do I find Them? Tumblr has long been home to a huge number of GIFs, but plenty of other sites host them.

Knowing new forms of popular media is key to staying relevant in digital media. Learning to use these new formats paves the way for innovation, and helps you capture the interest of your customers. After all, if you aren’t connecting with your customers, your competition is.