Facebook Enters The Game of GIFs: A Feast For People, Not Pages

June 8th, 2015 by Mary Silva

Search Influence Game of Gifs Blog

tyrion dancing

On May 29, Facebook confirmed that it would begin supporting animated GIFs! Up until this point, only Giphy GIFs could be used on Facebook, but they appeared like videos where you’d have to click a play button for the animation to start. For now, however, this new, universal GIF support only extends to personal profiles and not Pages.

In the past, I’ve jokingly (sort of) said that Google Plus would always be better than Facebook because it supported GIFs. As a freelance photographer and creator/curator of cinemagraphs (animations that consist of seemingly still photographs with subtle repeated movement in them—example below), I’ve always been annoyed that I could only share my art on Tumblr and G+. So I was really excited when I learned about the addition of GIF support to Facebook late last week. Sadly, I realized very soon after this announcement that Facebook had not extended this support to Pages.

Cat Tail Animation Cinemagraph Gif

So What GIFs CAN Pages Use And See?

People can share GIFs in the comments of posts by Pages but not on the walls of Pages. Also, Pages cannot share, reshare or comment using GIFs. So Pages can see when people post GIFs, but if they try to reshare a person’s GIF status or post their own, it will have to be opened in a new window for the GIF to play. A statement from a Facebook spokesperson on Business Insider said “Like many features that we release on Facebook, we want to ensure that this drives a great experience for people first before rolling it out more widely. While Pages cannot currently post GIFs, we are exploring ways to enable this in the future.” This also means that GIFs cannot currently be used in ads. Here’s to hoping they mean to roll this out for Pages in the very near future.

Here’s a GIF of the previously shown cat GIF moving in the comments of a post on a Page:

Search Influence Gif on Facebook Page

There are also other stipulations to using this new feature even on your personal Page. You cannot upload a GIF; it must be hosted elsewhere. So I suspect we’ll see a lot of sharing from sites like Tumblr (who just rolled out a GIF search—perfect timing) and Imgur.

For now, I’ll just be happy that I can at least share my cinemagraphs that are already on my blog on my personal Facebook Page now.

Thanks to HuffpostTV for the dancing Tyrion GIF!