Over the past two years, animated GIFs have gone from a message board curiosity to an integrated feature of the social ecosystem. Facebook and Twitter offer native support for them, and features like Instagram’s Boomerang look to improve on the format. With dark social apps like Slack, GroupMe, Tinder and iMessage building GIF integrations as well, social marketers need to provide their audiences with GIFs to make sure they’re posted wherever conversations take place. Here are five trends we see coming for 2017.
Although designers have been working in the medium since the first days of cinemagraphs, the popularity of GIFs allows creators more freedom to focus on the medium in their work. Artists like Daniel McFarland, whose work you see above, have used the hypnotic power of GIFs to bring real emotion and depth to the genre.
Combining GIFs with image sliders, this format allows users to control the GIF themselves, moving it back and forth to different points in the story. This technology is part of a larger trend where GIFs go from expressing a single emotion to telling a bigger part of a story.
Brands and organizations, acknowledging the pervasiveness of GIFs, will put more emphasis on building out these assets in order to instigate storytelling across their audiences. NASA’s recent partnership with Giphy is one high-flying example.
With 360 photos and video becoming more common — and the specialized cameras becoming more reasonable in price — it’s only a matter of time before GIFs can be watched in 360 degrees as well. Keep an eye out for their official debut, as well as technology that might allow you to make one of the first.
The Continued Dominance of Giphy
This startup has emerged as the leading repository and search engine for GIFs, powered by its easy-to-use interface and multitude of sharing options, as well as its smart curation. Social marketers should follow Giphy closely, as new features and categories they roll out will no doubt spread quickly to social.
We hope this guide proves helpful, or at least will stop you from going loopy trying to get a hold on GIFs in 2017!