A picture is worth a thousand words, and in a world of 140 characters that can go a long way. Yesterday Twitter launched a GIF search option that gives the ability to search through hundreds of preloaded animated GIFs to use on the popular network. The addition of GIF search shows Twitter’s commitment to competing with the Snapchat and Instagrams of the world that have nothing related to text.
Looking back on my first posts on Facebook it’s funny to see the evolution of social media just from my own feed. Initially I used it for reconnecting with old friends and updating what I was up to that day. Now my feed, when I use Facebook that is, is full of images, videos, article shares, and recipes I want to try out. Meanwhile, Instagram, my social network of choice, is completely image based.
The data has shown for a long time that images and video are the way to go. Adobe Digital Index recently released its social ad report which shows images and video are the most engaging types of content ahead of links and text. Twitter’s move will certainly provide more engagement with the explosion of GIF popularity in recent months.
We are in midst of a social age where Millennials lead, using an average of 3.7 social networks. That’s more than any other generation surveyed. Twitter has a strong presence with this group, and GIFs will go a long way at fighting for placement among them. A GIF storm may not be the savior for Twitter as an acquisition target, but it is definitely a move in the right direction.