In 2019, users sent 10 billion GIFs a day on GIPHY, a popular GIF site.
That’s not counting social media where people respond to threads or photos using their favorite GIFs.
Whether it’s Drag Race’s Jasmine Master with the “And I oop” GIF to Sandra Oh eating popcorn, there’s a GIF for every occasion.
But perhaps you have no idea what we’re talking about.
If you’re wondering “what is a GIF?”, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is a GIF?
“What exactly is a GIF?” You wonder.
GIFs (pronounced as ‘jiffs’) is short for Graphics Interchange Format and are used to make still and animated images.
We use this term because they’re not videos and don’t have sound.
Instead, the GIF format holds multiple pictures at once so you can make these load subsequentially into a moving image.
GIFs date back to 1985 and gained popularity because they didn’t require much bandwidth.
Why You Should Use GIFs
Regular users aren’t the only ones who can enjoy GIFs. Businesses should also jump on the bandwagon as they’re an effective marketing tool.
Other advantages include:
Showcase Your Brand’s Personality
When a company uses GIFS, consumers often want to react and engage as it adds a fun dimension to the brand.
It’s a fantastic way to strengthen customer relationships as a consumer can quickly respond with another GIF which encourages a light-hearted conversation.
As a result, you’ll create an entertaining, responsive brand personality that users will appreciate and take time to interact with.
You can also use GIFs to highlight your company culture.
Create a series of GIFs to show what you and your team look like, what you’re up to at work and the things that make you laugh.
GIFs let you show a snippet of your company culture to fans so they feel closer to you.
Great for How-To Content
Videos aren’t the only way to produce effective how-to content.
Instead of writing a lengthy article with instructions, use GIFs to show your audience how to do something.
It could be a quick recipe or even how to tie a fisherman’s knot.
Tell a Story
GIFs are a fun way to tell a story by stringing multiple still images together.
Use GIFs to give you audience context about data or information you’ve written about so it’s easier to digest.
It’s also possible to create micro-presentations using a mini-screen recording or cartoons.
Or if you have created an ad, transform it into a GIF file so it’s easier to share.
GIFs Yield Fantastic Results
Research has found GIFS increase conversion rates by 103% and click-through rates by 42%.
Numbers don’t lie and a reason for their effectiveness is they cater to short attention spans.
They’re perfect for breaking up walls of text or brightening up an email to a customer or client.
How to Use GIFs
We’ve covered “what are GIFS?” so now we’ll answer “how do GIFs work?”
Basically, you use GIFs like emojis.
Find a GIF that’s perfect for the situation, whether it’s a reply to a thread or you want to show your excitement for a friend’s birthday.
You don’t have to download anything, a majority of social media platforms work with image hosting sites so GIFs are easily accessible.
Even your phone’s keyboard probably has a GIF function in it.
For instance, on Facebook Messenger, there’s a search bar that directly links to GIPHY or Imgur so you can add a GIF.
Or head to an image hosting site and manually copy the link to your clipboard.
A fantastic benefit of GIFs is you don’t need to clog your phone with files to use them.
Instead, create an account on the image hosting site and hit ‘Favorite’ when you stumble across a great GIF.
How to Make a GIF From Video
You know how to use a GIF and now you want to make one.
The easiest way is to start is find a YouTube video or an Instagram Post you want to transform into a GIF.
Next, use Gifs.com and post the URL of the video and you’re set.
The app lets you add captions or crop the image so it’s more effective.
You also use GIPHY’s GIF Editor’s free tool by uploading an image file from your computer or a URL from a video.
Then, when you make a GIF, you can experiment with stickers or filters before adding a witty caption.
Where to Find Pre-Made GIFs
Not everyone has time to make their own GIFs but luckily there are plenty of sites filled with them.
You can explore GIFs on Tumblr using the specific GIF type search bar or head to Imgur as they have thousands.
But, it’s important to note, if you’re using GIFs on behalf of a company be mindful of using copyrighted work.
It may be easier to make your own to avoid any problems.
That’s Everything to Know About GIFs
Now you know everything from “what is a GIF?” to how to use GIFs.
There are many image hosting websites where you can easily search for relevant GIFs or make your own.
GIFs let you convey your emotions quickly and effectively, great for companies or casual conversations.
So go hunting for GIFs, share them with your friends, and have fun with them!
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