Gates open for GIFing on Facebook!

Gates open for GIFing on Facebook!

Facebook has finally decided to begin supporting animated GIF images that are commonly posted long since on websites like Imgur, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and BuzzFeed by marketers and users alike.

And now, new era awaits brand pages and users, as Facebook has also made moves to support GIFs to build on the success of Autoplay video. After rolling out GIFs to user pages in May, Facebook is now letting a small percentage of brand representations to experiment with animated clips.

Facebook will let you post animated GIFs to the News Feed by pasting a link to one in the status update box. You are not able to upload GIFs from your computer or mobile device, nor does Facebook let its Pages post animated GIFs yet. Don’t try to trick the system by uploading an animated GIF from your computer or mobile device, Facebook will convert it to a still image anyway.

Where do these impressive images come from? The GIF file format was introduced by CompuServe in the late 1980s. Animated GIFs became especially popular in the late mid-1990s when many GeoCities and Angelfire users uploaded them into their profiles.

GIFs had been re-discovered over the last few years, they are mostly used in news articles, marketing campaigns and art galleries nowadays. In December 2013, Facebook started to allow video ads in the News Feed. They decided not to roll out GIFs at the same time due to “an internal debate over the aesthetic impact on the News Feed,” according to WSJD (formerly known as AllThingsD).

Some brands got really excited over having the opportunity to communicate in new ways, Trolli and Chubbies have played with video hacks to upload short, animated loops in recent months.

But according to TechCrunch, as a part of a special agreement Wendy's and Coke-owned German soda Kuat are the first to test out actual GIFs on the social network. The fast food brand's post promotes a salad bowl, while Kuat's, as shown above features a branded Nyan Cat trailing a rainbow behind it.

Gates open for GIFing on Facebook!

Facebook is also allowing some brands to test using animated GIFs as promoted posts in users' news feeds.

"GIFs can be a fun and compelling way to communicate, so we've started testing GIF support in posts and boosted posts for a small percentage of Facebook Pages," Facebook representative said in a statement. "We will evaluate whether it drives a great experience for people before rolling it out to more Pages.”

We are really excited to find out more about the reactions to be triggered by the introduction of animated GIFs in the News Feed. There will probably be some users that think animated GIFs make posts from their friends less personal. However these images could make social media activities more interesting and dynamic.