The 411 on GIFs

HORIZONS
HORIZONS
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With social media networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr on the rise, it should be no surprise that image-based social media posts are all the rage right now. According to this report, between 65-85% of people say they are visual learners and psychologically consumers love imagery and seeing visually appealing content. But it's not just images that are taking over social media; it's GIFs (pronounced Jif - like the peanut butter; although there is some debate, the creator of GIFs has spoken). GIFs are short, moving images that are most likely to put a smile on your face.  Now that you know what a GIF is, it's time to learn how to use them to your advantage. First, you will need to find a suitable GIF for the type of content you're going to pair it with. I should warn you, though, picking out a GIF is the hardest part of this procedure as there is an endless amount of relevant and downright laughable GIFs to chose from. Check out websites like Giphy.com to find a pre-made GIF or if you want to make your own, check out Giffffr.com, imgflip.com , or makeagif.com.

If you are experienced in Adobe Photoshop, here is a tutorial on how to make your own using Photoshop. We tested out some of the make-your-own GIF sites and found them to be fairly straight forward. For example, on makeagif.com, you just copy and paste the URL from a Youtube video, pick the start and end time from the video for your GIF, and click create!

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After you have picked or created the GIF of your dreams, it's time to upload it. Simply download (or right click and save) the GIF to your computer and upload it as an image, make sure it's saved with ".gif" as the extension. This is the best way to use a GIF when emailing, tweeting or blogging content. When posting a GIF to Facebook, you'll need to post the full URL ending in ".gif" to share it. Unfortunately, only personal Facebook pages (not brands' pages) can upload a GIF so that it plays without opening another window. Hopefully, Facebook will soon allow brand pages to follow suit. Also, Giphy.com has recently developed a plug-in for Gmail so that you can email a GIF at the click of a button, rather than saving a GIF and uploading it as an image. More plug-ins for Facebook Messenger and GroupMe are in the works, as well.

Now that you know more about GIFs, it's time for you to up your content game! Here's a great article on how 5 major brands are using GIFs to make the most of their marketing content.

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