I bet you are wondering how we know that. It’s easy – just read between the lines. Earlier, we blogged that Facebook support of the animated GIF would be a tipping point for the GIF’s comeback. Let’s look at the evidence to support our claim that GIFs are coming soon.
Just last week Pinterest announced that they now support the animated GIF on their platform. Their blog post said it best:
The well-timed GIF may be the greatest thing to have happened to the internet since emoticons, and lots of people have said they’d love to see playable GIFs on Pinterest. Starting today, we support GIFs in all their animated glory! There are already tens of millions of GIF Pins and a million people a day see at least one GIF on Pinterest, so there are plenty to choose from.
Big brands like General Electric are already showing off the GIF as part of their Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ sites. Compare that to their one-dimensional Facebook page. The strategic use of animated GIF content tells a better story and communicates emotion in a way that still images just can’t.
Follow the Advertising Dollars
A recent WSJ article pointed out that although Facebook generated the most revenue per visit when users clicked over to a retail site from the social network, they lost significant ground to Tumblr and Pinterest – both sites that support animated GIFs. In fact, according to an Adobe report, on average, a Tumblr visitor generated $1.10—a 340% jump from last year. Only a visit from Facebook was more valuable, generating $1.22. This is quite interesting since Tumblr is, and has been for many years the most GIF friendly social media site. The Adobe report also noted that posts with images on social media sites produce 650% higher engagement rates. Engagement equals results and Tumblr and Pinterest are beginning to see the payoff in terms of rapid monetization with advertisers and brands.
Facebook use among teens has stagnated at 84 percent. The percentage of those between 18 and 29 who use the site fell two percentage points compared with last year, according to the survey. That’s in keeping with growing concern that Facebook is seeing lower engagement with the younger users who drove its early popularity, something that the company has acknowledged. A recent study by Garry Tan shows that Tumblr is the most popular social network among people aged 13 to 25. Garry surveyed 1,038 people from two age groups of 13-18 and 19-25, and in both cases the results showed they use Tumblr more often than Facebook. Twitter came third, but while it’s a clear 3rd runner among 19-25, teenagers use Instagram almost as often as Twitter.
So yes the animated GIF is coming soon to Facebook. The pressure to perform is too great to pass up animated GIFs as an option for continued growth. Advertisers will begin demanding such support or they will migrate their marketing budgets to growing sites like Tumblr and Pinterest. It is just a matter of time.
Hey Zuck – let us know when your ready and we can show you the power of the Cinegif platform to create high quality, compressed animated GIFs for your advertisers.