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Know the Uses & Best Practices of Animated GIFs


It is safe to say that the popularity of GIFs has increased over the last few years, especially in the virtual communication sphere. Earlier, GIFs were used for adding extra color or flavor to boring IM conversations or tweets. However, GIFs are now used extensively by millions of individuals all around the globe. Moreover, the popular image file has become a crucial marketing tool that businesses use in their marketing strategies. This article will cover GIFs, how users can create GIFs, and list some of the most prominent uses and practices of animated GIFs. Without any further ado, let us dive right into it:

What are GIFs?

Mashable defines GIFs or Graphics Interchange Format as a lossless image format that support both animated as well as static images. Simply put, GIFs are image files similar to PNGs or JPEGs that one can use to create still images. The popular image format features a “.gif” extension name and offers users teh unique ability to create animated pictures. The term “animated pictures” is used because GIFs are not video files, i.e., they share a close resemblance with flipbooks. 

How to Create Animated GIFs:

Even though GIFs are similar to videos in some aspects, they are comparatively easier to create. The best about creating GIFs is that you do not necessarily need to have experience in the editing sector or post-production. In contrast, it only takes a few minutes for individuals to create their GIFs. Here are two of the most popular methods following which users can create GIFs:

  • By Using a GIF-Creating App

Thanks to the popularity of the format, tons of apps and utilities facilitate users to create GIFs for free. All major platforms and operating systems support GIF-making apps. For instance, macOS users can screen record GIF Mac by using Gifox. It is a third-party app that facilitates users to create a GIF from whatever content is playing on the screen. Besides this, macOS users can also opt to use CleanShot X, a simply and easy-to-use GIF-making tool. Similarly, Windows users can use apps like GIF Animator to get the job done conveniently. ]

  • By Using a Video

There are instances when users, despite having a full-fledged video at their disposal, require an animated GIF. In such cases, users can use online converters online that individuals can use to create GIFs from videos. However, since most of these converters are free, they offer limited features. Individuals who require advanced features can use paid converters to get the job done easily. 

Best Uses & Practices of Animated GIFs:

As mentioned earlier, the popularity of GIFs has exponentially increased over the past few years. Here are some of the best uses and practices of animated GIFs that are prominent all around the globe:

  • Used as Video Previews

Video is currently the most popular multimedia format, and thus, tons of video-based websites and platforms host millions of videos. Moreover, most of these platforms offer individuals a preview when they hover their cursor over a video or tap on it. This is where the utility of animated GIFs comes in. They are used as video previews to highlight a few of the frames in the video, thereby giving individuals a peep into what the video hosts. 

  • Used for Showcasing Products

Almost every company, irrespective of how small or big it is, has an online presence, i.e., they have a website or online platform where their offerings are showcased. This facilitates potential clients to go through their offerings and decide whether it is suitable for them or not. These websites take the help of animated GIFs, i.e., they use them to showcase multiple products quickly and seamlessly. These animated GIFs help captivate visitors’ interest and motivate them to browse the company’s offerings. 

  • Used for Revealing Discounts

Online shopping is popular throughout the globe, and thanks to trusted e-commerce websites, individuals can purchase almost anything by placing an order online. These e-commerce websites use animated GIFs in multiple ways. For starters, they use the tool for putting up countdown timers. These countdown timers are a combination of a stopwatch animation along with the products upon which deals will be available. Besides this, animated GIFs are also used to reveal exciting discounts on popular products during shopping festivals and events. 

  • Used in Marketing Emails

Animated GIFs are vital tools that every digital marketer has in their arsenal. Email marketers extensively use GIFs in their messages to promote products or services. By including captivating animated GIFs, marketers try to captivate the attention of readers. If the GIF is used sensibly, it helps in enhancing the company’s reach and attract more clients or customers. Hence, it would be safe to say that animated GIFs contribute to companies’ financial growth. 

If you wish to know all about animated GIFs, their uses and how they can be created, refer to the aforementioned points.