Lauren Kaye

GIFs are the digital content format of the moment, crossing the wires of funny static images and short animations for a new type of content that demands attention and begs to be shared. Already the most-shared type of content on Google+, GIFs are poised to take the entire social media landscape by storm soon. Giphy, a GIF search forum, recently brought the animated visuals to Twitter newsfeeds.

This development doesn’t mean the microblogging site will become a GIF-sharing free-for-all. On the contrary, people can only distribute their favorite looping clips or reaction GIFs on newsfeeds by finding and sharing them through Giphy’s site. Basically, people still can’t copy and paste GIF links in Tweets, but they at least have some options for sharing their favorite finds with followers.

Earlier this year, Giphy brought the same functionality to Facebook. With this additional expansion, it seems clear that we’re heading toward a future when animated images are the norm, and marketers must consider how they to make their social media content GIF-friendly.

Before marketers in technical fields brush off the possibility of sharing their formal brand messages in this casual manner, they should consider how versatile the GIF truly is. Brafton’s Social Media Associate Max Adagio recently wrote a blog post, walking content marketers through a brief history of the fast-rising format and explaining how it can improve web campaigns.

Consider that some categories of GIFs don’t contain any characteristics of the meme that are often found in viral visuals (i.e. funny misspelled captions or pop culture references). There are technical GIFs that can make diagrams and complicated processes easy to understand, as well as cinemagraphs that add a touch of sophisticated flair to still images, though marketers will want to carefully consider where to invest in GIFs versus video marketing. Read the full blog post to find out how GIFs can enhance content marketing campaigns in unexpected ways.