You know this already, but sometimes it amazes me how fast technology moves. Just yesterday, we casually mentioned in another post that Pinterest was running an experiment with a small number of people that plays animated GIFs on the social network.
Today, Pinterest announced that all users will now begin to interact with animated GIFs within pins.
Quick turnaround, right?
To see the Pinterest GIFs in action (heh, get it?), click here. Right now, GIFs are only enabled on desktop, but I imagine that mobile capabilities will soon follow. Also, embedded pins aren't playing animated GIFs, so I guess we'll have to wait for that feature, as well.
Enabling GIFs was a smart move for Pinterest. Animated GIFs are more popular than ever, and more and more social networks are enabling them on their platform to keep up with user demand. Bonus: People had already been uploading them to the site, so when Pinterest launched this new feature, there was plenty of opportunity for users to see it in action right away.
Okay, so this is a cool feature for Pinterest, but why should you care?
Why You Should Care About Animated GIFs on Pinterest
Sometimes when new features come out on social networks, it's easy to say "so what?" Not all features are created equal, so there's plenty that you shouldn't worry about ... but this new feature is different. There are three big reasons why you should know about this new Pinterest feature:
1) Now, you need to beware of Pinterest while at work -- I have a feeling that animated GIFs will make Pinterest even more addicting than it already is. I could easily see time slipping away as I browse through the endless rows of Justin Timberlake GIFs. Guard your time wisely, folks.
2) All jokes aside, this new feature gives you a huge opportunity on Pinterest to engage your followers with new content formats. Creating GIFs isn't too difficult (here's a quick guide that will walk you through it) -- or if that isn't your idea of time well spent, finding GIFs your followers will love is even easier. Try experimenting with this new feature and see how it affects your conversion rates -- you may find you're getting more click, likes, and repins than ever!
3) Outside of Pinterest, this gives you even more of a reason to use animated GIFs in your marketing. Now that almost all of the major social networks support animated GIFs (except Facebook), you can use animated GIFs in your marketing without fear that the image will freeze up when shared on social media. You have the freedom to use animated GIFs to tell a story, teach someone something, or heck, just crack a joke with your audience.
This is a pretty straightforward feature release, but it's definitely one that could take your Pinterest presence (and the rest of your content) to the next level.
Do you envision yourself using animated GIFs on Pinterest? Share your thoughts on this feature update with us in the comments.
Originally published Jan 23, 2014 3:11:00 PM, updated July 28 2017