Well now Twitter has gone and opened the flood gates allowing these moving monstrosities to show up on Twitter.com and on the mobile apps. (No refuge at all!)
They announced this exciting change via a Tweet and not a single word of follow-up on the Twitter blogs. Perhaps they feel that GIFs are so universal, they don’t need explaining.
One thing is true, these animated story bites are popular world wide. Doesn’t matter what language you speak everyone understands an excited, adorable poodle.
Facebook doesn’t allow GIFs because they’re worried that it will make the newsfeed to busy. This one time, I agree. I’m not prepared to see dozens of these things jumping up and down as I skim my Twitter feed. Seriously, what happened to using your words!
From a marketing perspective, it’s another tool you can use. Like old school Whack-a-Mole banners, animated GIFs are hard to ignore. But if you post a dozen lame images a day all your getting to get for your trouble is a declining Follower number. If you get it right, post something entertaining without overwhelming your audience, you’ll have a good chance of going at least semi-viral. Because that’s the other good thing about GIFs, people love to share them.
If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff, Lifehacker has an excellent guide to GIF making tools for both novices and those with more experience.
Now all you need is a sense of humor. Have you ever seen a GIF that wasn’t funny?
You watch this. I’m going to go get an aspirin.