The Planet of GIF

What is a GIF?


All Aconryms notes that there are actually 44 different meanings for GIF – from Global Income Fund to Guniee Airlines to Guaranteed Investment Funds.

So far as visual content is concerned, this is a GIF:
“The Graphics Interchange Format (better known by its acronym GIF /ˈdʒɪf/ JIF or /ˈɡɪf/ GHIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability.”  GIF – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GIFs are:

Short clips of moving images – either stitched together images or clips from video (popularly now these are from TV or films)
They play over and over on a loop
They do not have any sound – often therefore they have text on

They can be a fun visual asset in your marketing toolbox but also can be distracting.  Use with caution and more often as snackable content (ie social media).




The first GIF (arguably as these things often are) is “Dancing Baby,” also called “Baby Cha-Cha,”(remember Ally McBeal?!): you can see it here Burning Pixel

GIFs compress the quality of images to 256 colours, (compare that to 16.7 million colours in a JPEG).

It’s not just dancing babies, cats and bananas!  News outlets use them: The Guardian, Republican Debate

In the US GIF was made Word of the Year in 2012

You can make your own GIFS with a range of apps – on desktops or mobile:


There are Twitter accounts devoted entirely to GIFs:



mashable logo


There are some really funny takes on the GIF here on Ad Week


Giphy have an app that enables users to create and share directly to their social media on their iPhones.  Giphy have apparently been slow to remove offensive content in the past -Snapchat and Instagram have therefore made it more difficult to post from there.


You can post a GIF straight to Twitter by clicking on a GIF button under your Tweet compose box.


There are a massive number of GIFS out there for use free of charge, for instance TUMBLR


Two of my current favourite GIF time wasters are:


There actually are some interesting uses of GIFs for marketing.  Take a look at this article by www.business2community.com


So there you have it, there’s more to the world of GIFs than you may have realised!

Have a play. Send me any you find that you have used for business – I’d love to hear how they went down with clients!




About the author
1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.