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Facebook now supports animated GIFs – it’s not just fun and games

Facebook users rejoice: you can post animated GIF images in newsfeeds. Here’s a look at how to maximize this new feature to boost your reach without feeling goofy.

eddie murphy

eddie murphy

Facebook now supports GIFs – it’s not just fun and games

Facebook users rejoice: you can post GIF images in newsfeeds. This is a little surprising, as Facebook previously shunned GIF images as it would make newsfeeds too “chaotic,” but they are changing their tune. GIFs will auto-play on Facebook in line with your current video auto-play settings. If you choose to disable auto-play in your settings, you can tap or click a GIF (you’ll see a white circle with “GIF” inside on the image) to play it instead.

Previously, the only way to post a GIF was a workaround provided by Giphy, however, with this update, users will be able to share GIFs they find anywhere on the web. Speaking of Giphy, there are several other apps that will enhance Facebook’s new feature. Imgur’s video to GIF tool is exceptionally easy to use. JibJab lets you add your self to GIFs and messages; another easy way to get into the GIF game. The original GIF tool, Giphy, also has a plugin for Gmail that allows you to add the power of GIFs to your email. Any one of these tools will get you into the GIF game, with minimal effort.

Fine, don’t think of them as silly animated GIFs

Nonetheless, if you find using GIFs in your business laughable, think Cinemagraphs. Cinemagraphs are high resolution photos with slight movement. If you merged a classy photo with a high quality video, you’d have a cinemagraph. Also, Cinemagraphs use less data. When users are scrolling through their newsfeeds being bombarded by flashy GIFs and annoying advertisements that auto-play, cinemagraphs say, “hey, I know you’re burning mobile data, and I respect that, but here’s a touch of classy movement to grab your attention without draining your device.”

Cinemagraphs are a piece of cake to make too. While not a new technique, it is definitely one you should consider revisiting in the wake of the GIF invasion that is sure to come. Take a look a the images that were created here, and find out a bit more about how to make them. While may have been the app that started it all, there are several other apps on the market that allow you to create a stunning cinemagraph image.

Flixel is a good alternative; it will even let you know if you’re video is shaky so you can adjust it as needed. Kinotopic and Echograph (now on Vimeo) are two other choices that are both great for making intriguing, engaging cinemagraphs. Each one offers something different, so you may have to try a few to find one that is a perfect fit for your needs, but when you do, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to jump on the cinemagraph bandwagon.

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Whether you use GIFs casually talking with friends, or call them fancy cinemagraphs to use for your business, you are sure to draw more attention to your posts. Get them a try and see if they boost your reach.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.



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