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Giffiti adds animated gifs to your pics so you can rule social media

Giffiti has launched to help you earn your social media street cred, stat! Add dancing Carlton to your party or a pissy Britney Spears next to your cats.

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Fact: everyone loves GIFs

We know you love GIFs. We know you love taking photos with your iPhone and posting them on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Now you can combine the two with a cool new app called Giffiti (graffiti + GIFs). The app allows you to add animated GIFs to your photos.

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The app was created by Nalin Mittal and was announced by a simple post on Reddit. The post quickly went to the front page, and Giffiti was an instant hit, reaching number 14 on the list of US entertainment-based apps for iOS.

How and why to use Giffiti

Mittal’s intention was to create an app called Celebrate for making montages of photographs for birthday parties. It wasn’t quite coming together, but in the process of developing Celebrate, Mittal began to notice the huge popularity of GIF search engines on Reddit and Product Hunt. He switched gears and in three weeks had invented Giffiti.

With Giffiti, you can upload a photo from you camera roll, then select a GIF to overlay on top of the photo. You can move the GIF to the perfect place, and you can resize it as well. The finished product can be saved as either a GIF or a movie file for sharing via text and social media. There is also a library of 100 popular internet memes and celebrities, and you can add special effects. Have a little fun with your social media posts and stand out for the cool person you really are deep down inside!

Probably the biggest challenge for Giffiti is supplying the GIFs themselves. Some are made by the Giffiti team, and others are used with permission from their creators. However, Giffiti also includes GIFs pirated from the web, without permission from or credit to their creators. They’ve already been asked to remove several GIFs, and are cooperating with these requests.

Giffiti hopes to eventually encourage user to submit animations, and to turn a profit by selling premium GIFs.

Note from the Editor: In testing the app for an hour this morning (for science, obviously), we found that animated gifs did not save as animated, and animated videos did not loop more than once, so although we found some serious problems with it, remember, it’s new and doesn’t have a trillion dollars behind it. We had hoped to share with you our creations, but they’re just still images for now, so here are some from Twitter (sad face):





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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joe

    September 4, 2015 at 5:36 am

    The GIFs definitely do save as animated. Unfortunately iOS camera roll does not play GIFs in the roll. If you text or email these to your friends you’ll see that they are indeed animated. As far as videos, they loop on Facebook and Instagram so there is no need to have them exported with loops.

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Social Media

Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t

(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.

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Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.

Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.

We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).

Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.

Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.

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Social Media

We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.

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Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.

The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.

Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)

One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.

  1. Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
  2. Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
  3. Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
  4. Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
  5. Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
  6. Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.

At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.

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Social Media

WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.

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WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.

“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.

The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.

Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”

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