When 140 characters doesn’t cut it

When 140 characters doesn’t cut it

When 140 characters just doesn’t cut it you can now add in one of those flashing and repetitive visuals on Twitter.

That’s right, Twitter has introduced the ability to add in GIFs to your Tweets.

Twitter-GifHowever according to blog Embedly and confirmed by B&T’s head of creative and photography Elliott Hind, what we may think are GIFs are actually just looping videos, slightly different to the GIF.

Regardless of the format, Cristina Forlani, account director at We Are Social, believes the integration of GIFs throughout Twitter is a “welcome addition”.

“Love them or hate them GIFs have become ubiquitous across the web as the go-to response when ‘words are not enough’,” she said.

“In what seems to have been a long time coming, Twitter have finally embraced the phenomenon and now supports GIFs on the platform. As Twitter is an open social platform, it is certainly a welcome addition.”

So they’re not actually automatic moving images, you have to click on the round ‘play’ button to get the GIF-magic, but already Twitter has taken to storm with an array of GIFs beginning to circulate.

In the mere hours since the capability had been available last Thursday Hootsuite had already compiled a list of some of the best reactions to Twitter GIFs.


“We know from experience that short-form content can often be more effective and engaging than longer content – a whole blog post for example – a few frames of a video repeated endlessly can be arresting in their beauty or hilarity, and certainly more appealing than a static picture,” Forlani added.

“So what does this mean for marketers? The good news is it offers another tool with which to engage the audience. But as with all ‘novelty’ approaches they should be used judiciously – don’t overuse them, but rather save them for the right moment to ‘surprise and delight’ your audience.”

Sam Snowden, account director at Thinktank Social believes the “social media reunion” between blog site Tumblr and Twitter will aid engagement in various programs.

“Television innovators like HBO already have standalone official Tumblr presences for Game of Thrones and GIRLS,” he said.

“Locally, reality shows such as Housewives of Melbourne and My Kitchen Rules have been social meccas for user generated meme creations.  Twitter’s integration of the GIF play functionalities will enhance the interactive conversations, shared replays and fandom re-creations of viewer’s favourite television moments, plus it will provide networks and brands with a wealth of marketing inspiration.”

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