Twitter enables GIFs #PraiseTwitter
Oh happy day. It has happened.
Twitter announced on June 18, 2014 that GIFs are now enabled in tweets. GIF’s are those delightful video clips (usually just a few seconds long) that play on a continuous loop.
We love GIFs. Ask anyone who texts with Alex on a regular basis. So, here is what you need to know about this news, and how to take advantage.
Why MP4 over GIF Files?
As it turns out, Twitter didn’t actually active ‘GIFs’, but actually MP4 Files – which is a GOOD thing.There is nothing more painful than failing to land the joke because your GIF doesn’t load properly. Twitter is taking your GIF, compressing it into an MP4 (around 20% smaller) so that it loads faster and doesn’t slow down your scrolling. Another bonus: MP4s have a ‘start’ button, so your followers will have the option of starting the video or skipping over it, making you less obnoxious.
How to tweet a ‘GIF’
Step One: Find your GIF
Step Two: Compose the Tweet
The way you normally would, but from Twitter.com or the official Twitter app. In the bottom left corner of the ‘compose a tweet’ box, click on the ‘add twitter’ button, and insert the GIF ‘image’ you just saved.
*Note: just one GIF at a time. Cool it.
Step Three: Tweet It
That’s it – go for it – tweet it. Your GIF won’t automatically animate. You will have to press ‘play’ by clicking on the ‘image’.
Now that Twitter.com is GIF-Posting-Friendly (GIFPF, if you like accronyms), Twitter will wrangle in it’s friends: tablet applications, professional twitter tools like TwitPic and TweetDeck, and third party tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite. Watch for those roll outs in the coming months. In the meantime, you may have to tweet from Twitter.com or your the Twitter iphone or android app. Worth it.