Way back in 2017 I wrote a blog about memes and their ability to engage people with their seemingly simple, but actually complex, format.
Over the last few years a new (but technically old) “image” format has grown up, been reinvented and risen to power thanks to social media and other internet messaging platforms.
It’s the ‘post-modern’ GIF.
Or is it JIF? I say it’s GIF, but you can cast your vote at the end of the article!
GIFs are an interesting (and entertaining) part of internet culture. In
nerd technical terms, GIF stands for ‘Graphic Interchange File’ – a form of computer images that move as an animation because it consists of frames. Basically, it’s a tiny movie with no sound.
Here’s the boring dictionary description: a GIF is a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images.
GIFs as they are know today, especially Reaction GIFs, can be thought of as an animated evolution of the humble meme. Like memes and emojis, GIFs may seem crude to some but are significant to how people communicate in digital spaces today. With seemly little ‘content’, they can convey ideas and have an emotional impact in a way that would be difficult (and, let’s be honest, less humorous) to describe using plain old ‘words’.
Colleague: “How’s your blog going?”
I’m stuck on what to write about…”
GIFs are fun. Some businesses use GIFs as part of their social media strategy to increase audience reaction or show creativity & brand personality.