The Internet rejoiced earlier this month as Twitter added its newest and happily welcomed feature, animated GIFs. The long awaited feature means Twitter users will finally be able to share their favorite animated pictures with the click of a button.
Blogging giant, Tumblr, has supported GIFs as long as we can remember, and earlier this year, in January, Pinterest added animated GIF support. The news of animated GIFs seems to be a long time coming for Twitter. The site has collaborated with aggregate GIF site, Giphy, to support this new feature.
As excited as we are to spend those precious minutes (ok… sometimes hours) scrolling through funny animated memes, we’re equally excited for the gold mine of opportunity that this presents to our fellow marketers.
A Hubspot study found tweets containing images had a 41% increase in retweets and a 55% increase in leads over those without any media. With some creativity and elbow grease, the addition of an animated GIF will skyrocket those numbers.
It should be noted that those amusing animations you see on your Twitter feed aren’t actually GIFs. Don’t fret, though, because this is actually great news. With quick loading times and small file sizes in mind (especially on mobile), Twitter has decided to convert all GIF files to MP4 video files. While users will have to click the image in order for it to animate, this doesn’t appear to take away from the animated GIF playback.
Companies like Pizza Hut & Maker’s Mark are already taking advantage of the new feature:
Summer. It’s here. #PizzaHutBBQ http://t.co/TWlmvO6cMf
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) June 21, 2014
Hand dipped. By real hands. #RedWax #GIF http://t.co/cYlEKRrsYv
— Maker’s Mark (@MakersMark) June 19, 2014
So, here’s a quick need-to-know about the update. Previously, Twitter users were only able to tweet GIFs if they had a Giphy account that was synced with their Twitter account. With the new update, you can bypass that process and directly upload the GIFs from Twitter.com or the Twitter Android and iPhone apps. Using the feature is as simple as 1-2-3. Write your tweet, click the photo icon to upload your GIF, and then simply tweet it for all of your followers to see!
We’re excited to see how everyone uses the new feature. Have a favorite couple of GIFs to share? Tweet us at @ovrdrv or leave a comment below!