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Get Ready for GIFs: Facebook To Roll Out New Commenting Feature

Get Ready for GIFs: Facebook To Roll Out New Commenting Feature

Call it GIF creep.

For years, Facebook steadfastly refused to support animated GIF files: their logic was that the moving images disrupted the Facebook experience, potentially ruining the aesthetics of a users’ feed. The launch of the autoplay video shattered the logic in that argument. Facebook began allowing GIFs in posts in 2015. GIFs have been available in Facebook Messenger for years. This week, Facebook announced that it will begin testing GIFs in Facebook comments.

GIFs: A Simple Way to Communicate Complex Emotions

Animated GIFs have been popular with online users from the very earliest days. MySpace – remember MySpace? – was a veritable carnival of GIFs back in the day. There was definitely some novelty appeal. Even then, however, GIFs served as a sort of digital shorthand, used to convey an emotion that was otherwise too difficult to communicate. There are some feelings that only a dancing polar bear can express properly.

David McIntosh thinks that GIFs are a significant evolution in the way human beings communicate. David McIntosh is also the CEO of Tenor, an app that provides users with a range of GIFs to choose from when they want to share their feelings, so he’s not exactly a disinterested party. He does have some interesting insights on the multi-faceted ways GIFs can help social media users express themselves: after all, the user who communicates solely using Kardashian GIFs is self-evidently a very different person than the one who uses Christian Bale GIFs. The choice of GIF can reveal much about a user’s worldview and cultural touchstones: by paying attention to the GIFs commenters post on your Facebook page, you’ll be able to develop a more nuanced understanding of who they are, what makes them laugh, and what media figures are part of their experience.

Responding to GIF Comments: Should You Fight Fire with Fire?

It’s a good idea to touch base with everyone who’s involved with managing your Facebook page about using GIFs to reply to comments. Many GIFs are humorous, but as we all know, not everyone has the same sense of humor. While commenters are free to say whatever they’d like, brands need to exercise a little bit of caution. It’s okay to be edgy, particularly if your target market skews young and sarcastic, but you don’t want to be offensive. That being said, don’t be afraid to use GIFs for positive reinforcement. It never hurts to let customers know you appreciate it when they say something nice!

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Specialties:
Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Platforms/Tools:
Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress

Analyst/Strategist

Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Specialties:
Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Platforms/Tools:
Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office