Today facebook started rolling out support to play animated gifs inline. So it’s finally catching on where Tumblr and Instagram have been leading for quite some time, but honestly where Geocities started us on the Internet in the 90’s.
Mobile means less bandwidth (just like the 90’s) Gifs use less bandwidth than video (also still true form the 90’s). With mobile usage under explosive growth right now optimizing to deliver animated gifs has always made more sense than Facebook’s auto play video.
Sharing Facebook Animated Gifs:
You can’t just upload animated gifs, Facebook does not support native animated gifs (yet). You have to Paste the link to your animated gif into a post then Facebook will show it and play it inline in the news feed. This feature is being rolled out in stages. When we tested it pages could not post animated Gifs yet but users can. When you Paste the Animated gif link into a post it looks like this:
Your Friends can either see the auto play, or click the Gif button for it to play inline. But the Gif has to live somewhere so we recommend uploading the gif to your website then sharing the link to Facebook. Once facebook makes the preview visible you can type whatever update you want and ditch the link text. (you could also link to another article or something on your site but the native content in the Gif should really be the focus for best result.
Facebook Is not the Only Reason We Care About Animated Gifs
Animated Gifs actually work a bunch of places but instead of the vintage 90’s Rotating Text or Myspace era Sparkle text we are seeing animated gifs as “almost video” that loads fast, cheap and looks pretty good on a mobile device. Tumblr has had a torrid love affair with animated gifs since day one (the cool kids are always first). Want to stop that fast scroll past your promoted tweets on Twitter… yup animated gifs work here too. Want to get a little extra out of your instagram posts.. a moving image in line with all the other still images is a stopper. You get the point.
But the Knock Out is EMAIL!
Yup animated gifs work in email apps… from the preview pane. You can grab someone’s attention a little more by showing some moving images in their email box, that might slow down that click of the archive button. It will certainly demand a closer look and that’s all you need if the gif has your key messaging built in.