Instagram GIFs open new doors for PR, marketing

The photo-sharing network is vying with Snapchat to get users sharing content through their platforms. How will adding GIFs augment your content strategies?

The internet’s favorite tool is coming to Instagram.

The platform announced that it would introduce an integration with GIPHY, one of the main outlets providing GIFs.

The Verge reported:

After months of rumors and limited rollouts, Instagram is officially adding GIF support to its Stories feature. Starting today, you can now plaster dancing cats and flying cheeseburgers over your photos and videos. The options are endless with hundreds of thousands of moving stickers to choose from thanks to GIPHY integration. Instagram is also announcing an upcoming feature that will let users upload photos and videos of any size to Stories, so you’ll no longer be forced to awkwardly crop them in that 9:16 (portrait) format.

How should communicators and brand managers use GIFs in their Instagram Stories?

The basic guidelines for GIFs still apply, including exercising restraint and choosing images that have a longenough loop so as not to be annoying. Suggested uses for brand managers include adding sass to boring messages and providing detail for instructionalmaterials.

The capability to use GIFs is already available to users who have updated the app to the latest version.

The Verge shared how to use GIFs within the platform:

To access the GIF stickers, tap the add sticker button at the top of Stories as usual. From there, select the new GIF option, and a library of GIFs will appear. Drag the one you want onto your photo or video. There are options to browse trending GIFs on GIPHY, or search its entire library.

That was welcome news for some communicators:

General users were thrilled, too:

Others shared their favorite new GIFs via Twitter:

Refinery29 described the different kinds of GIFs available for Instagram stories and detailed how to add (or remove them):

If you want to find text-based GIFs, look for “word art.” Searching for “effects” will provide sparkles and fireworks you can use to decorate your Story scene, while “accessories” will pull up bunny ears, lip-licking mouths, wagging tongues, and other appendages you can use animate someone’s face. A personal favorite is the search for “peekers”, which produces GIF stickers that pop up and disappear or dangle over an edge, like the legs above.

When you find the sticker you like, tap to place it on your story. You can add multiple GIF stickers to a single Story and resize them as you would any other stickers. Tapping a GIF sticker once reverses its direction. To remove it, simply press and hold to drag it to the trash.

Buzzfeed also published a detailed how-to with embedded GIFs to demonstrate cool features.

Some noted that the integration is part of GIPHY’s involvement with Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

TechCrunch wrote :

Facebook and Giphy have been working more closely recently on custom GIF databases, as the two built a child-safe, hand-picked set of animations to offer in the new Messenger Kids app for users younger than 13 years old . Previously, Giphy helped Facebook launch a GIF comment button.

The move is a competitive swipe at Snapchat, which also offers moving stickers.

Mashable wrote:

The update is yet another example of Instagram copying and one-upping Snapchat at the same time. Snapchat added animated stickers and filters to its app last year, but its offerings aren’t as comprehensive as Instagram’s.

Another feature coming to Instagram is the ability to add photos and videos to Stories without cropping.

The Verge reported:

Instagram is also adding support for photos and videos of any size ratio to be uploaded to Stories. Once enabled, you’ll be able to pinch the uploaded image or video to share it in its original ratio, so you don’t have to explain to your friends why they’ve been abruptly cropped from your story. Instagram says the extra room surrounding the image will be filled with a custom color gradient that matches it.

How will you add GIFs to your Instagram Stories for branding and other business purposes, PR Daily readers?

(Image via)

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