How GIFs are affecting mobile messaging

The world continues to attempt to develop quicker and shorter methods to present information and emotions to others. One of the latest, most powerful trends is the use of GIF images on mobile devices. GIFs are short animated images often from pop culture that clearly express a certain idea or emotion to another person, quickly and clearly. These images also have the ability to create a special connection with someone. It is this connection that makes the GIF images; there are several possible marketing advantages many companies can pursue.

GIFs were created almost 30 years ago by a programmer at a company called CompuServe, his name was Steve Wilhite. The original form of the medium had its moments but was not wildly popular until recently. The change has been the ability to simply, and quickly add the movable images to a message from a mobile phone or tablet. They have become extremely popular with the youngest in our society and is a warning shot for all companies. Any inroad into the youth market is worth pursuing.

When it comes to e-learning, much of the emotions that a presenter relies on generating in person can be built with the use of a GIF image in the online training environment. An elearning company that provides custom e-learning can use these images to point the concentration of an employee to the most relevant information and important facts. It doesn’t matter if it is in the material itself or about a deadline for completion or submission of work. The use of GIF’s can help clear up communication problems and gain desired employee engagement within the training program. Employee training will be less of a chore and much more entertaining with the use of GIF’s.

There is also a unique change to make the emails, websites and text messages sent from your company stand out and your marketing message to be specifically noted by a population that is continually over stimulated and marketed to. People have learned to tune out the more traditional messages and forge no emotional connection to them. That is where GIF images come in. They will draw attention and used properly can allow for a marketing message to hit home with the population dynamic a company is searching for. Using a GIF of a well recognized television character from the 70’s or 80’s is going to grab the attention of those ages 35-55. in addition, that audience is full of buyers, and the tool that can get their attention will also get their money as well. It can be a simple change in color moving up or down an image. The movement attracts and keeps the attention.

However, there are some simple problems with GIFs that should be avoided in order to present a clean message that is easily understood. A GIF won’t play unless it has been fully loaded so file size is important. To avoid problems, keep the size of your GIF under 125 KB per image. The first image of the GIF should be entertaining and appropriate. This is because if the GIF is sent to an email that has an unsupported platform, the first image is all that they will see. Like any technology there is a danger of overuse. Keep the GIF use to a minimum, one per email or marketing message. Too many moving, dancing, and spinning images are going to defeat the catchiness of the GIF in the first place. Make the email simple, clear, and any movement should augment the message, not repel the viewer.

As this technology grows and becomes more common the number of methods it can be used will also change. As these images become more compact and simpler to use they may include more in depth instruction on how to do certain tasks. How to fill out forms, complete projects, or complete simple tasks may all be demonstrated on a GIF image. Whatever the case will be, the world of marketing, learning and communication has been changed forever and the companies and industries that incorporate this technology the best will reap the benefits.



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