Electronic communication in 2020 is much more than words and endless acronyms. We have images, videos, emojis, animated GIFs and Bitmojis to help us creatively express ourselves. Facebook announced their purchase of GIPHY this month, which is a platform centered around the animated GIF. It allows users to find, use and create short, animated files that play automatically without sound and are small file sizes. GIPHY has millions of users, many of them brands, who contribute to their library of billions of GIFs. Facebook’s acquisition of this company means we can expect to see greater integration of GIFs into the company’s properties – Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Instagram Stories is one of the most popular places where GIFs are used right now, powered by a search feature within Instagram Stories. It soon could be possible that brands pay Facebook to have their GIFs be the top result fetched during a search for a relevant animation within Instagram Stories. Facebook may also be interested in data around which GIFs users are choosing, and which GIFs are trending, for ad targeting purposes.
We can expect to see brands take greater notice in branded animated GIFs. We expect Facebook will find more ways to monetize this offering and provide value for brands to jump on the GIF bandwagon. We can also expect to see Facebook provide more ways for GIFs to be used natively within their platforms.