Twitter made an announcement today that many of us have all been waiting for: You can now share and view animated GIFs on Twitter.com and on Twitter’s iOS and Android apps.
The announcement came in the form of a tweet from Twitter’s Support team, and appropriately enough it included an animated GIF as well.
Starting today, you can share and view animated GIFs on http://t.co/wJD8Fp317i, Android and iPhone. http://t.co/XBrAbOm4Ya
— Twitter Support (@Support) June 18, 2014
Previously, if you wanted to share a GIF on Twitter, you had to upload it to a third-party (like Imgur) and then share the link. Starting today you can upload and view them directly on Twitter.
GIFs won’t animate automatically in your feed like they do on Tumblr, for example. When a GIF is shown there will be an overlay of a white play button, simply click on the GIF to play it right in your feed.
Why This Is Good For Marketers
The ability to tweet animated GIFs presents new opportunities for content marketers on Twitter. Take a look at how businesses are using Vine to market themselves, those 7 second videos can easily translate into animated GIFs.
GIFs stand out in the Twitter feed just like images do. They can capture the attention of your audience and communicate your message in a way that’s quick and easy to digest.
Perhaps one of the best things about GIFs is that they can communicate emotions. Anyone who spends even a small amount of time on Reddit knows how GIFs can be used to convey the emotion behind a situation. It’s difficult to capture emotion in 140 characters, adding a GIF to your tweet now makes it easier than ever.
Adding a GIF to Twitter works just like uploading any other kind of image, so there’s nothing new to learn when it comes to using them. For a great sourse of animated GIFs to add to your tweets, I recommend the r/Gifs subreddit.