Animated GIFs have been a mainstay of the web for decades now. For a while they fell out of fashion, but their resurgence has been the making of Tumblr, Buzzfeed and their ilk. Now, in a “well if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us” move, it looks like Pinterest is experimenting with the format.
According to Mashable, a select few Pinterest users are now being allowed to pin GIFs to their boards, something which was previously unavailable.
Once the user has uploaded the GIF to a particular board, anyone visiting it will be able to play or pause the GIF with a small play button in the bottom left hand corner. That’s a marked change from the situation most users face at the moment. Ordinarily, only a still image appears when you upload a GIF, with visitors having to go back to the original source if they wanted to see it animated.
“We’re always working on ways to help people discover and save the things they love, which can include animated GIFs,” a Pinterest spokesperson told Mashable. “We’ve heard from the community that they’d like the ability to post and view GIFs as pins, so we’re testing ways to make that happen.”
By the looks of things, the new feature also works retrospectively, with the play button appearing on previously uploaded GIFS.
Pinterest isn’t, of course, the first social network to allow people to upload animated GIFs. You’ve been able to do it on Facebook for a while now and Google+ even allows you to turn your uploaded photos into high-grade animated GIFs.
It’s unclear whether or not Pinterest will roll out the feature to all its users and what kind of timeframe would be involved if it did. It would be nice to think that if it does so, the GIFs uploaded will be classy and artistic, but one look at any other site that allows for the format suggests that’s highly unlikely.